Lite Bite http://litebite.in Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:14:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Recipe | Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry with Tawa Pulav – My race against time http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plums-tofu-kofta-curry/ http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plums-tofu-kofta-curry/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:14:19 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10699 “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah

Back then I had loads of time in hand. My home and life was well organized and I never knew what ‘racing against time’ meant.

I was happy, but still felt a void in life and was searching for ways to fill it. As they say, change your perspective when you think your life is incomplete without something.

And then, food blogging happened.

Now the equation of life has changed. Five days to go for a food blogger meet, a deadline to meet for print media and a high-pressure photo shoot on very short notice.

And yes, I am racing against time...but I am content :)

The post Recipe | Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry with Tawa Pulav – My race against time appeared first on Lite Bite.

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Tofu koftas in fresh plum sauce with tawa pulav

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah

Back then I had loads of time in hand. My home and life was well organized and I never knew what ‘racing against time’ meant.

I was happy, but still felt a void in life and was searching for ways to fill it. As they say, change your perspective when you think your life is incomplete without something.

And then, food blogging happened.

Now the equation of life has changed. Five days to go for a food blogger meet, a deadline to meet for print media and a high-pressure photo shoot on very short notice.

And yes, I am racing against time…but I am content :)

Oh well, there is a temptation to take part in a food blogging contest by KitchenAid India on IFBM also….after all food blogging is where I belong.

1. Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

The first time I had a savory Plum curry was when I visited my friend in Uttaranchal. She has a large farm near her house and uses  homegrown Plums for  making relish, chutney, dried powder similar to Amchoor (mango powder), rice dishes and curries.

Small variety of tart plums are the best  for making curries and dried powder. The sweet-sour plum puree added to gravy lifts up the taste & flavor of any Indian curry.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

For Tofu Koftas;

  • 1 cup crumbled Tofu
  • 1 large boiled potato
  • 1 tbsp. Plum puree
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour or all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For Gravy;

  • 10-12 Fresh Plums
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. Paav Bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Water as required

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Method; Wash and chop all the plums and remove the seeds. Puree the chopped plums.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Tofu Koftas; Mix crumbled Tofu, mashed potato and rest of the ingredients listed under ‘For Tofu Koftas’ in a large bowl.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav
Make small balls and dust each ball with cornflour or all purpose flour (maida).

Heat oil in a flat pan and shallow fry all the Tofu koftas for 2-3 minutes or till they turn golden brown in colour.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

For Gravy; Finely grate the onion and tomato with a grater.

Combine plum puree, grated tomato-onion, ginger-garlic paste in a bowl.

Heat oil in a kadai/wok and add the above plum mixture in it. Saute for 5-6 minutes on low heat.

Add Paav Bhaji spice-mix and Kasuri Methi to the gravy and take the kadai from heat.

Serve this Fresh plum tofu kofta curry with Tawa pulav or any Indian bread of your choice.

2. Quick and easy Tawa Pulav

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Ingredients;

(serve 2)

  • 1 cup cooked Basmati rice
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tbsp. Paav Bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp. chilli-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Paav Bhaji Spice-mix;

(for 2 servings)

  • 2 tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Black peppercorn
  • 2 tsp. Mango powder
  • 2 tsp. Fennel seeds
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Dry red chilly
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Method; Dry roast all the spices in a pan on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Cool the spices completely and grind into a fine powder.

Store this spice-mix in an air-tight container. The spice-mix can be used for many Indian rice dishes and curries.

Peel and chop and all the vegetables you are using. Heat oil in a large Tawa or griddle and crackle cumin seeds in it. Add chilly-garlic paste, chopped onion, tomato and sauté for a minute. Add all the chopped vegetables (Green peas, capsicum, baby corn, cabbage, spouted moong) salt in it and cook for 4-5 minutes on high heat.

Add prepared Paav Bhaji spice-mix and lightly mash all the cooked vegetables on the tawa with the back of the ladle or a vegetable masher.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Add pre-cooked rice in the tawa and stir to combine well.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve this flavorful Tawa Pulav with Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry

Notes;

  1. Keep the tofu on a paper napkin or kitchen towel and remove all the moisture from it before making the koftas.
  2. Stuff a few raisins inside the Tofu koftas while rolling it into balls.
  3. Do not add too much Plum puree to make koftas, you will find it difficult to bind and shallow fry the same.
  4. The colour of gravy will depend on the colour of plums used in the recipe. If you don’t get good colour you can replace a little of Paav bhaji masala with Kashmiri red chilly powder which will impart deep red colour to the gravy.
  5. Kasuri Methi or dried fenugreek leaves imparts a wonderful flavor, the slight bitterness of leaves completely balances the sweet-sour taste of the Plum gravy.

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Recipe | Fresh Plum and Almond Pudding aka Aloobukhara Phirni and a contest on IFBM http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plum-pudding-phirni/ http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plum-pudding-phirni/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:07:39 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10696 Firni is a delightful healthy dessert and could be cooked without much efforts. An earthen pot is a perfect vessel to set this dessert, as the porous surface of the pot will absorb water leaving a thick & creamy Firni behind.

The tart small Plums, mildly sweet coconut milk and the nutty almonds give a  wonderful burst of flavors and taste to this creamy rich Phirni.

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fresh plum pudding

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah

Back then I had loads of time in hand. My home and life was well organized and I never knew what ‘racing against time’ meant.

I was happy, but still felt a void in life and was searching for ways to fill it. As they say, change your perspective when you think your life is incomplete without something.

And then, food blogging happened.

Now the equation of life has changed. Five days to go for a food blogger meet, a deadline to meet for print media and a high-pressure photo shoot on very short notice.

And yes, I am racing against time…but I am content :)

Oh well, there is a temptation to take part in a food blogging contest by KitchenAid India on IFBM also….after all food blogging is where I belong.

I already had two recipes of  ‘Plum’ in my treasure and cooked both in a jiff. I could just about manage to click and post both the recipes before the D date for the contest…phew.

Plum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Firni is a delightful healthy dessert and could be cooked without much efforts. An earthen pot is a perfect vessel to set this dessert, as the porous surface of the pot will absorb water leaving a thick & creamy Firni behind.

The tart small Plums, mildly sweet coconut milk and the nutty almonds give a  wonderful burst of flavors and taste to this creamy rich Phirni.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 10-12 almonds
  • 6-7 fresh Plums
  • 2 tbsp. cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp. raw rice
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • Few almonds to garnish
  • Water to soak rice

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Method; Soak rice and almonds in 1/2 cup of plain water for 15 minutes. Drain and grind rice and almonds into fine paste.

Wash, chop and puree plums.

Bring coconut milk to boil in a thick bottomed pan on low flame. Add rice-almond paste and keep stirring to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom.

Make sure there are no lumps in the Phirni.

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Add plum puree, sugar, cardamom powder and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Take the pan off flame and let it cool.

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Pour the Phirni in individual earthenware or bowls. Garnish with almonds slivers and edible silver foil and refrigerate the Phirni for 5-6 hours to set.

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Notes;

  1. You can peel the almonds before grinding if you dislike almonds peels in your pudding.
  2. Use normal white sugar if you can’t get cane sugar, cane sugar gives a beautiful colour and caramelized flavor to the dessert.
  3. Replace coconut milk with plain milk to get a different taste for this dessert recipe.

This recipe goes to KitchenAid India contest on IFBM.

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Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay with crunchy peanut sauce – Coming out of the comfort zone again http://litebite.in/recipes-instant-oats-idly-satay/ http://litebite.in/recipes-instant-oats-idly-satay/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:23:57 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10683 Life has many ways of testing a person's will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Life throws challenges when we least expect it. I received a call from ‘Deccan Chronicle’, an Indian daily news paper the other day.

We have been browsing your blog and are very impressed, would you consider being a columnist for our daily?” a media representative inquired in a sweet voice on other end.

With on- going workshops and a food styling project I was not sure if I can commit myself for one another work. I asked her a days time to decide and called my hubby.

I feel you should take up this challenge. I can see you getting lazy and comfortable within your comfort zone. This might help you create new possibilities in your career” He answered.

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Healthy idly satay recipe

Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Life throws challenges when we least expect it. I received a call from ‘Deccan Chronicle’, an Indian daily news paper the other day.

We have been browsing your blog and are very impressed, would you consider being a columnist for our daily?” a media representative inquired in a sweet voice on other end.

With on- going workshops and a food styling project I was not sure if I can commit myself for one another work. I asked her a days time to decide and called my hubby.

I feel you should take up this challenge. I can see you getting lazy and comfortable within your comfort zone. This might help you create new possibilities in your career” He answered.

“But you know that ‘writing’ is not my strength, moreover I have just two days to plan the recipes, cook, style, click and write the article”. I threw my last straw.

Do remember the saying, You’ve only got three choices in life: Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got. I leave it to you to decide” and the line got disconnected.

I have taken out of my comfort zone many times, sometimes willingly and at times pushed by the circumstances. Fortunately with the support of my family and some wonderful friends I was able to cross each hurdle with ease.

Well,  I decided on ‘give it all’ and accepted her request. I started working promptly upon the topic they suggested for my first article as I had just two working days to complete it.

After many initial hiccups of word limits, picture formats and number of recipes I could manage to complete and send the draft in a day’s time.

The draft that I sent was tossed in many hands before it got published today in Deccan Chronicle.

There are a few errors in the print, if the recipe of Instant Idly is explained in detail, the ingredients are missing. The peanut Satay sauce ingredients are listed but the recipe is not printed.

Hmm…I love my ‘one-hand-one-shot’ published food blog :)

For all the friends who read the article, called and congratulated me and wanted to know the original  recipe I shared i DC, here it is;

healthy recipes

Featured in Deccan Chronicles

1. Idly Satay with Peanut Satay sauce

Chinese Dosa, Italian Paneer Naan Pizza, Chinese Bhel, Mexican parathas…there is a sudden explosion of fusion foods in India.

I have always enjoyed incorporating new elements from various cuisines and giving healthy twists to my food. But most of the days I end up cooking comfort foods at home which are far from gourmet and my children refer them as ‘boring food’.

This is when fusion recipes come to my rescue and save me from occasional food tantrums at home. It helps me break the monotony of cooking and add a fun part to the table.

Idly Satay and Idly Manchurian are two such interesting fusion recipes which were born out of necessity when my children avoided eating plain Idlis.

These delicious recipes can set the mood and pace for an exciting party at home, any time.

Idly Satay with peanut satay sauce has three components;

  1. Instant Oats Idly
  2. Dry Rub
  3. Peanut Satay sauce

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Instant Oats Idly

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup semolina or rawa
  • 1/2 cup Instant Oats
  • 1/2 cup sour curd
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda or eno
  • 1/2 tsp.Salt

Method; Dry roast semolina and oats in a pan for 3-4 minutes.

Whisk curd with water in a large bowl and soak in roasted Oats and semolina for 5 minutes.

Add rest of the ingredients in the above mixture and mix well.

Pour this idly batter in each greased Idly mould and steam for 5-6 minutes.

I added a little turmeric powder and a pinch of red chilly powder in my Oats Idly. You can avoid it if you like white Idlis.

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Dry rub

Ingredients;

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried herbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Method; Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Dried herbs or even finely shredded coriander leaves works good.

Slice all the Idlis in small pieces and coat it with the above spice-mix.

Heat a shallow pan and sauté the Idlis for 3- 4 minutes on medium heat.

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Peanut Satay Sauce

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup toasted peanuts (skinless)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp mashed in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ inch ginger piece
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Method; Grind half cup of peanuts into very fine powder and the rest of half cup into coarse powder.

Boil powdered peanuts into tamarind water for 15 minutes. I read this tip of boiling the crushed peanut in tamarind water in a Malaysian blog, long back (sorry for not remembering the blog name) and have been following the same. It gives good colour and taste to the sauce.

Grind onion, garlic cloves, dried red chilies, and ginger into fine paste.

Heat oil in a pan and cook ground paste in it for 3-4 minutes.

Add tamarind-peanut water into this ground spice paste and simmer for another 10 minutes till he sauce thickens.

Add salt, sugar, soy sauce and take it off the flame.

Serve the dry rub spice-coated Idlis on skewers with a bowl of sweet-sour satay sauce.

2. Idly Manchurian

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Ingredients;

(serve 2)

  • 6 large Idlis
  • 3 tbsp. chopped spring onion
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 3 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 capsicum
  • 2 Green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Method; Slice all the Idlis into 8 even sized pieces. Chop onion and capsicum into large bite size pieces. Chop the green chilies finely.

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a flat pan, add all the Idly pieces in it and sauté for a few minutes till they turn golden in colour.

Take out the Idlis and add 1 tbsp oil in the same pan. Add chopped garlic, grated ginger, chopped green chilies, and sauté for a few minutes.

Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar in the pan and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add a few teaspoons of water if the sauce becomes too thick.

Add chopped onion, capsicum, spring onion and take the pan off the fame.

To serve Idly Manchurian, arrange all the shallow fried Idly pieces in a bowl and pour the prepared sauce over it.

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Notes;

  1. Replace idly chutney powder or podi with the list of marinade to coat the Idlis.
  2. Substitute store bought peanut butter with roasted peanuts to make the sauce if you don’t have enough time to make.
  3. For a quick peanut sauce use ready-to-use peanut butter and add soy sauce, garlic, emon juice, sugar according to your taste and boil all the ingredients with a cup f water.
  4. Replace peanuts with any other nuts (walnuts/cashew/almonds/macadamia) if your child has nut allergy.
  5. Don’t add shallow fried Idlis in the Manchurian sauce before serving as they will absorb liquid and become soggy.
  6. To get best results, deep fry the sliced Idly pieces to make the Idly Manchurian recipe.
  7. Use a day old Idlis for making Manchurian as they remain firm and do not break easily.
  8. You can use the satay sauce as condiment, veggie dip, pasta sauce, stir frying sauce and for dressing your salads.

I want to end this post with these beautiful line;

I feel that we are often taken out of our comfort zones, pushed and shoved out of our nests, because if not, we would never know what we could do with our wings, we would never see the horizon and the sun setting on it, we would never know that there’s something far better beyond where we are at the moment. It can hurt, but then later you say “thank you.” I have been pushed and shoved and have fallen out and away, so very, very, many, many times! And others around me have not! But then, the others haven’t seen what I have seen or felt what I have felt or been who I have been, they can’t become what I have become. I am me.” ~ C. JoyBell

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Recipes | Healthy Indian snack called Muthiya and an exciting food blogger meet http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-indian-snack-muthiya/ http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-indian-snack-muthiya/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:06:39 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10669 I have attended many blogger conferences over the last few years but have never been so excited for a meet, ever. Yes, I am referring to IFBM here, our very first Food blogger meet at Bangalore next month.
It is really hard to hold back the excitement of meeting many of my virtual food blogger friends whose blogs I have been reading and admiring time and again. Oh..well, I am making and packing the special South Indian lentil-spice mix in the picture above for some of my blogger friends who have asked for it.

Did I tell you that many of us will be sharing same apartments for close to three days....start music...it is party time :)

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Healthy steamed Muthia snack

I have attended many blogger conferences over the last few years but have never been so excited for a meet, ever. Yes, I am referring to IFBM here, our very first Food blogger meet at Bangalore next month.

IFBM meet is organized by four talented food bloggers and will showcase a series of  workshops, panel discussions, useful interactions and events to span over two days on August 1st and 2nd. The meet is supposed to be attended by enthusiastic food lovers who are good cooks, esteemed cook book writers, publishers, professional food photographers & stylists and social media activists from India and across the globe.

It is really hard to hold back the excitement of meeting many of my virtual food blogger friends whose blogs I have been reading and admiring time and again. Oh..well, I am making and packing the special South Indian lentil-spice mix in the picture above for some of my blogger friends who have asked for it.

Did I tell you that many of us will be sharing same apartment for close to three days….Hmm…start music…it is party time :)

Before I forget, let me acknowledge that the endless accolades and countless blessings that is coming my way for whatever I do in the field of food blogging is my tribute to this wonderful community! May the food blogging community grow stronger and stronger as days go by…

1. Oats and Fenugreek leaves Muthiya

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

This is a co-incidence that I made these Muthiyas when a blogger friend Lata visited me at my home with her husband some days back. Happy that I will be meeting her again in the IFBM meet.

Muthiyas and Khaman Dhoklas are two of my favorite Indian snack recipes. These recipes are light on stomach and are easy to make when you don’t have time to plan ahead for a quick snack. Served with a cup of tea or coffee these crispy treat make a complete morning breakfast in many households in India.

Muthiya (Mutthi refers to fist) is rolled into cylinders using fist and is a very versatile recipe. You can never go wrong even if you add a little less or more of flour in it. These muthiyas will retain its shape once they are steamed.

Various millet and cereals along with different greens added to the Muthiya recipes give interesting combination of flavors and taste. When I first started adding Finger millet (Ragi) flour to my Muthiyas, I was a bit hesitant, but to my surprise they do taste delicious. Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Ingredients;

(serve 4)

  • 2 cups chopped Amaranth leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking Oats
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 4 green chilies
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Salt to taste

Tempering;

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Method; Pluck leaves along with tender stalks from Amaranth leaves (Chawli) and wash and chop finely.

I added a handful of fenugreek leaves also in the recipe to give a strong flavor and taste to the Muthiyas as Amaranth leaves are almost bland in taste.

Chop the green chilies finely and Combine chopped Amaranth, Oats (grind the oats into powder if you wish), wheat flour, chickpea flour (besan), sugar, baking powder, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and salt in a large bowl.

Mix with ight hands or fork to bring all the ingredients together. Add lemon juice ad yogurt to the above ingredients and knead gently to form a dough.

Do not over knead the dough else the Muthiyas will become heavy/hard and might remain uncooked from inside. Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Grease your palm and pinch tennis ball sized dough and roll it into cylinders.

Place the muthia cylinders on a greased plate and steam it in a steamer or pressure cooker (without vent) for about 15-20 minuets. Take out the steamed Muthiyas and let it cool completely.

Slice each cylinder into small pieces.

Heat oil and crackle cumin seeds in a large pan or kadai. Add asafoetida powder, sesame seeds and add the steamed Muthiyas in it. Lightly turn the Muthiyas without breaking to coat the tempering over each piece.

Add lemon juice in the tempering and pour this tempering over the Muthiya slices.

2. Finger Millet or Ragi Muthiya

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup Finger millet or Ragi flour
  • 1 cup chopped fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. chickpea flour
  • 3 tbsp yogurt or curd
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Salt to taste

For tempering;

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Method; Pluck the Fenugreek leaves (methi) and wash thoroughly with water.

Chop the leaves finely. Peel ginger and grate it.

Combine chopped fenugreek leaves, finger millet four, wheat flour and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add grated ginger, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, baking powder and salt in the bowl and mix well to make a dough.

Don’t knead the dough heavily to avoid stiff Muthiyas.

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Grease your palm with oil, pinch small amount of dough and make cylinders.

Grease a large plate which can fit into the steamer or pressure cooker and place all the cylinders of Muthiyas on it.

Steam the Muthiyas rolls for about 15-20 minutes till the Muthiyas change colour. Let the Muthiya rolls cool completely before slicing into small roundels.

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Heat oil in  a large kadai/wok and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add sesame seeds and asafoetida powder in it. Add all the sliced Muthiyas in the wok and saute for a few seconds making sure that Muthiyas don’t break while stirring.

Garnish with coriander leaves or freshly grated coconut and serve as a healthy tea time snack. Notes;

  1. Let the Muthiya cylinders cool completely before slicing to avoid breaking it into pieces.
  2. The consistency of dough might change depending upon the water content in the chopped and washed leaves used in the recipe.
  3. You can replace baking soda with fruit salt (eno) if you wish for better taste.

If you are an active food blogger and want to attend the meet, do check IFBM  Fb page and contact the admins for more details.

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Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Wheat Bran Slices – When the going gets tough, bake a bread http://litebite.in/recipes-finger-millet-bread-oatmeal-slices-going-gets-tough-bake-bread/ http://litebite.in/recipes-finger-millet-bread-oatmeal-slices-going-gets-tough-bake-bread/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 08:08:05 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10657 I picked up the bowl, pulled out the soft & sticky dough, placed it on my wooden board and started punching it vigorously.

Yes, you got it right, I am baking bread again. Well, with the dates of an important family function nearing, bread making should be the last thing on my mind.

But then, when your to-do list is a mile long and it is getting difficult to focus on the mounting task at hand I resort to baking bread.

Baking bread at home is the best remedy when nothing is working and you don’t know where to start.

The post Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Wheat Bran Slices – When the going gets tough, bake a bread appeared first on Lite Bite.

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finger millet bread and oatmeal slices

I picked up the bowl, pulled out the soft & sticky dough, placed it on my wooden board and started punching it vigorously.

Yes, you got it right, I am baking bread again. Well, with the dates of an important family function nearing, bread making should be the last thing on my mind.

But then, when your to-do list is a mile long and it is getting difficult to focus on the mounting task at hand I resort to baking bread.

Baking bread at home is the best remedy when nothing is working and you don’t know where to start.

I love getting lost in the rhythm of bread making process and like the sense of being totally cut off from the world till my bread is done. Lifting the dough, stretching, folding and kneading the soft and fluffy dough with the heels of your palm is so soothing.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

One of the joys of keeping my passion of food blogging alive is the opportunity to connect with food enthusiasts from across the world making new friends who end up lasting a lifetime is an added bonus to it.

I got a chance to meet my virtual food blogger friend, Lata and her family in her daughters’ marriage some days back.

During our casual talk the other day I informed her about my son’s Upanayanam (holy thread ceremony) and how hectic the coming days would be, what with the shopping, planning, and inviting friends and relatives for the function.

And some days later, to my surprise, I receive a flipcart delivery from her, a beautiful and very thoughtful gift for my son!

These words by Anais Nin perfectly resonate my feelings, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

1. Finger Millet or Ragi Bread

I baked a loaf of finger millet bread and a few wheat bran slices for our recent travel trip to Yercaud. Here is one another recipe of Oatmeal and Almond slices baked for a travel trip

The absence of gluten in  Millet does not help the bread rise even after adding yeast in it. You need to add gluten externally (not frequently available in India) or wheat flour to help the bread rise.

Finger millet lends a strong nutty flavor and natural earthy taste to the bread.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Ingredients;

(medium loaf)

  • 1/2 cup Finger millet flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. All purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Method; Take a large bowl and combine finger millet, whole wheat flour, salt in it.

Add yeast and honey in a tablespoon of warm water in a small bowl and leave it to froth for 5 minutes.

Make a well in the center of the flour in large bowl and pour the yeast mixture in it. Mix all the ingredients to form soft dough.

Knead it for 4-5 minutes on a flat surface. Oil your palm with oil if the dough is too sticky to handle.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a lid or a cling film to rest and rise for an hour or more till the volume of the dough doubles.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Grease a loaf tin.

Pull out the dough from the bowl and punch it on a dusted floor. Knead it gently with the heel of your palm for 3-4 minutes and place the dough in the greased baking tin.

Sprinkle sesame seeds over the dough, cover with a lid and let it rise again for an hour.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Preheat the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.

Place the baking tin in hot oven and bake it for 20 minutes or till the crust is golden brown and crisp.

Let  the bread cool completely before slicing it.

2. Orange Flavored Wheat Bran & Apricot Slices

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Ingredients;

(makes 20 slices)

  • 1 cup Wheat Bran
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricot
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • A pinch of salt

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Method; Preheat oven at 170°C and grease a shallow baking tray with oil.

Chop the apricots finely.

Combine wheat bran (I used Bagryys wheat bran here), whole wheat flour, orange zest, chocolate chips, chopped apricots, baking powder, salt,  and cinnamon powder in a large bowl.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Grate the outer yellow skin of orange lightly to get the zest and squeeze the juice out of it.

Add sugar and oil in a pan and heat it for 2 minutes, pour orange juice in it and boil for another 3-4 minutes.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Stir in the wheat bran and flour mix and fold lightly with a fork to combine all the ingredients. Take it off the flame.

Pour the thick mixture into the greased baking tray, pressing down firmly with a spatula.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Bake for 15-20 minutes till the top turns golden brown and crisp.

Mark into squares while the flapjacks are still warm and cool it completely before slicing it.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Notes;

  1. Replace wheat bran with wheat germ or even quick cooking oats to give a wonderful bite to the slices.
  2. Use Golden syrup or corn syrup if you can find it in your stores for a sticky and chewy texture of flapjacks.
  3. Use canola oil or Olive oil to make these recipes.
  4. Replace finger millet with any other millet flour of your choice to bake the bread.

 

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Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup – Reflecting on our travel trails http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-one-pot-meal-quick-indian-soup/ http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-one-pot-meal-quick-indian-soup/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 04:35:52 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10634 Every travel leaves you with some unforgettable travel experiences you would want to treasure for ever. And what better way to freeze those precious moments than writing a bogpost and reflecting on your travel time with family and friends.

We have a marriage invitation from my colleague in Metur city this weekend. Do your Google search and let me know if there are any good places nearby worth visiting.” Hubby informed me from his office last week and cut the line.

A few Google searches and I liked this small hill station Yercaud in Salem district which is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern ghats of India.

But wait...there is more....

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Healthy Bisi bhele bhat and quick rasam

Every travel leaves you with some unforgettable travel experiences you would want to treasure for ever. And what better way to freeze those precious moments than writing a bogpost and reflecting on your travel time with family and friends.

We have a marriage invitation from my colleague in Metur city this weekend. Do your Google search and let me know if there are any good places nearby worth visiting.” Hubby informed me from his office last week and cut the line.

A few Google searches and I liked this small hill station Yercaud in Salem district which is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern ghats of India.

But wait…there is more….

Every other person in the forum was advising  against visiting Yercaud, as this small hill-station has nothing great to offer in terms of places of interest in the city.

Hmm…well, fortunately this was all the more better for us. We dislike visiting every nook and corner of the city we travel. Spending the entire day running from view points to museums to photographing the monuments is not our cup of tea. We had done the same during some of our earlier trips and disliked doing it.

I did not want to fall in the same trap again and booked a quiet plantation resort in Yercaud, far from the main city.

There is absolutely nothing to do in the resort except spending some quality time with family, relaxing and trying to be one with nature. And this is what exactly I wanted from my travel trail!

We planned for a non-stop travel to Yercaud and started our journey at 5 am from Chennai on a weekend to avoid the early morning traffic.

We took a diversion before Salem city and followed a different route to reach Yercaud as suggested by a friend.

This route (via Kuppanur, diversion from Salem town) is full of dense Teak forest. We enjoyed the quiet, picturesque and almost traffic free uphill journey and reached Yercaud at 12 noon.

The strong scent of thousands of citrus trees, coffee and pepper climbers planted in 100 acre property of the resort welcomed us.

More about our travel trail here.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup The resort has small self-sustained cottages scattered in the front portion of the property.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

A leisurely morning walk in the resort. The orchard is well maintained with lots of Avocado, citrus, grape orange, jack-fruit and many unusual fruity tress.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

A quick trip to the botanical garden and to the local market nearby our resort.

1. Healthy One-Pot-Meal or Bisi Bele Bhat

Travel is a wonderful way to slow down and gain a new perspective of things we are doing. Returning home and back to work after a relaxing holiday was a stressful task earlier, but not anymore.

After having been to many such small vacations over last few years, we are now able to deal comfortably with post-vacation blues.

I had already pre-planned and stocked my refrigerator with necessary ingredients and vegetables for a quick meal after we are back from vacation.

And Bisi Bele Bhat is my first choice most of the times. A delightful delicacy which always reminds me of Khichdi from North India with an extra punch of some flavorful spices and loads of vegetables added to it.

Infact I coarsely ground millet, brown rice and lentils in equal proportion and store the same in an air-tight container for a quick Bisi Bele Bhat recipe.

The spice-mix required for making this healthy one-pot-meal was already prepared before leaving for the vacation. I had to just roughly chop the vegetables and dunk all the ingredients listed in the recipe together in my large pressure cooker.

And there we were, having a sumptuous meal of Bisi Bele Bhat, sipping hot garlic-lemon Rasam and reminiscing about the good times we had in Yercaud.

The ingredient list looks intimidating, but believe me this recipe is a breeze to cook, provided you have already planed for a few ingredients before.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup mixed lentil*
  • 2 cups Mixed vegetables*
  • 1 tbsp. Tamarind paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. ground nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

Spice-mix;

  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. black gram
  • 1 tsp. Bengal gram
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorn
  • 5 dry red chilies
  • 3 cloves
  • 1’ cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamoms

Tempering;

  • 2 tbsp. oil or ghee
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp. black gram
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Few curry leaves or coriander/dill leaves

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

Method; Pressure cooker is the easiest and quickest way to make this recipe.

Wash rice and lentil with plain water. Add rice, lentil, groundnuts and turmeric powder with about 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker.

Cook for three whistles and let the cooker cool completely.

You can add chopped vegetables along with rice and lentil, but this will make the vegetables too mushy.

Heat a flat pan and dry roast Bengal gram (chana daal), black gram (urad daal) till the colour changes to light brown, remove the lentils in a plate. Roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper in the same pan for a few seconds.

Now grind all the ingredients listed for powder along with the roasted ones into coarse powder.

Prep all the vegetables according to your choice. I have used the following vegetables for this recipe;

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Drumstick
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrot
  • Capsicum
  • colocasia
  • Flat beans
  • Tomato

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

Open the pressure cooker and add chopped vegetables, Bisi Bhele Bhaat spice-mix, tamarind paste, salt, jaggery, one cup of water and close the lid. Cook for just one more whistle and take the cooker off heat.

Tempering; Heat oil in a wok and crackle mustard seeds. Add black gram (de-skinned urad daal), cashew nuts and fry for a few seconds. Switch off the heat and add asafoetida powder and curry leaves in hot oil.

Pour this tempering over the Bisi Bhele Bhaat, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with a dollop of homemade ghee or butter, some crisp poppadom and chilled yogurt relish.

2. Quick Indian Soup or Goddu Rasam/Chaar

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

This instant Indian soup or ‘Goddu Rasam‘ recipe is handed over to me by my MIL which is a great time saver. No boiled and mashed lentils go into making this light and flavorful soup. Garlic and lemon are my addition to her recipe.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 tbsp. Pigeon peas or Tuvar dal
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1” Ginger piece
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Spice-mix;

  • 10-12 black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dry coriander seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method; Grind black peppercorn, cumin seeds and coriander seeds into coarse powder.

Wash and chop fresh coriander leaves and tomatoes. Peel garlic and ginger and crush them lightly with the back of a ladle.

Squeeze tamarind to get thick paste and add this into two cups of plain water.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Add pigeon peas or tuvar dal

and sauté for a minute.

Pour tamarind water, crushed ginger & garlic cloves, salt, asafoetida powder and bring it to boil.

Add chopped tomatoes, coarse peppercorn, cumin and coriander powder in it and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Put off the flame, add chopped fresh coriander leaves and lemon juice in it and serve hot with plain rice.

Check Glossary for English & Hindi names of various ingredients used in the recipe.

Notes;

  1. Dry roast all the spices listed under the Bisi bele bhat recipe, grind it coarsely and store the same in an air tight bottle. It stays good for a month or more.
  2. The easiest and quickest way to make Bisi Bele Bhat is to add all the ingredients (with ground spice-mix) except the tempering into a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles.
  3. Prepare the spice-mix and chop and prep all the vegetables required to make BBB a day before. Just add all the ingredients listed under the recipe in a pressure cooker and cook for four whistles for a quick lunch-box recipe.
  4. Garnish the recipe of Bhat with fried cashew-nuts for a crunch in the recipe.
  5. A tablespoon of grated coconut added to the Bhat spice mix gives a wonderful taste to the recipe.
  6. Replace uncooked pigeon pea (tuvar dal) with cooked lentil for another version of Rasam.
  7. Replace rice with millet of your choice. Pearl millet grits makes a nutritious Bisi Bele Bhat.

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Recipes | Savory Multi Millet Pancakes with Garlic-Herb Cottage Cheese Spread – A guest post for Sia http://litebite.in/recipes-multi-millet-savory-pancakes-garlic-herb-cottage-cheese-spread/ http://litebite.in/recipes-multi-millet-savory-pancakes-garlic-herb-cottage-cheese-spread/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 08:56:45 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10621 Food blogging is the ultimate hobby I could indulge in for hours on end. A captivating hobby turned into a full-time passion now, which fills me with excitement and self-worth every single day. Food blogging gives me endless entertainment, raises curiosity, creates memories and helps connect with wonderful online friends to grow together.

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millet pancakes with cottage cheese spread

Food blogging is the ultimate hobby I could indulge in for hours on end. A captivating hobby turned into a full-time passion now, which fills me with excitement and self-worth every single day. Food blogging gives me endless entertainment, raises curiosity, creates memories and helps connect with wonderful online friends to grow together.

For many people, food is just fuel for body and an everyday comfort to celebrate life. To a food blogger ‘food is a subject’ which they seek to understand and explore. They don’t just eat good food but are inspired by it and visualize many forms of art in it. They take food to a different altitude.

Violet curvy aubergine, deep orange pumpkin, vibrant red tomatoes, tender green dill, blushing beets with leaves…my heart jumps out with joy every time that I visit my farmers market and gaze at these fresh and colourful vegetables stacked neatly in a row.   I may not know how to cook pearly strings of fresh green peppercorns or the cute little crimson water apples. But then, I never miss a chance to buy the same so that I can photograph and preserve the beauties of these delicacies for future reference. Food mesmerizes and brings out the creativity in you.

I was in for a pleasant surprise when Sia asked me to write a guest post for ‘Monsoon Spice’. Her blog has a sweet charm, a rustic Indianness which permeates through all her recipes. Her spellbinding food stories, traditional Indian recipes and beautiful photography have the power to connect with readers.

It is an absolute pleasure to come over to one of my favorite Indian food blogs and share a recipe.

Over to Monsoon Spice for the recipe -Multi millet savory pancakes with Garlic-herb cottage cheese spread.

Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spreadGarlic and herb cottage cheese in the making..

Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spread

A few millet varieties and barley..getting ready for the pancake batter…

Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spread

The batter could be prepared ahead and refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spread

The cottage cheese spread makes a perfect sandwich spread also.

Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spread

These tiny pancakes are a close cousin of Bajre ka cheela (Pearl millet crepes) with vegetables mo used to make for breakfast.
Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spread

Grated vegetables added to the recipe gives a beautiful crunch and colour to the otherwise bland tasting pancakes.

Recipes | Multi-Millet savory Pancakes with garlic-herb Cottage cheese spread

Served with chilled yogurt raita.

Notes;

  1. The recipe can be made using millet flour also. Combine various millet and grind it into fine powder.
  2. Soak millet flour in yogurt for 3-4 hours before making these pancakes.
  3. Add flax-seed powder mixed with water to the millet flour for better binding.
  4. A few tablespoons of chickpea flour or wheat flour added to the millet batter gives a good texture to the pancakes.
  5. Using millet powder to make these pancakes is a great time saver. I always keep a stock of millet flour when I don’t have time to soak.
  6. Soaking a grain is always preferable as it increases the nutrient content considerable.
  7. I have used a combination of Barley (jau), pearl millet (bajra/kambu), Sorghum (jowar/cholam) and Kodo (kodra/varagumillet in this recipe.
  8. You can also make the same pancakes using just one kind of millet of your choice.
  9. Use vegetables of your choice as topping for the pan cakes.
  10. Avoid yogurt and replace it with plain water for a vegan version of the recipe.

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Recipes | Jailsalmeri Chane, Sindhi Kadhi and Tomato Kulcha – People don’t fail, they just stop trying http://litebite.in/recipes-jaisalmeri-chane-sindhi-kadhi-kulcha/ http://litebite.in/recipes-jaisalmeri-chane-sindhi-kadhi-kulcha/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 09:11:29 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10603 Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~Winston Churchill.

Our company is into motion pictures and TVC (television commercials), are you interested in doing a project with us? If yes, we would like to meet you today, as the shoot schedule and the artists are already fixed” the caller on the other end continued and waited for my reply.

"Sure, I will come in the evening and let you know about my decision" I replied to 'C', producer of the Ad agency.

I got to know the enormity of the said project, a television commercial for Malaysia after meeting the director in evening and was slightly skeptical to take it.
I was a bit nervous when I entered the location early morning, what with hundreds of people running helter- skelter carrying giant light boxes, reflectors and the like.

I gave myself a few moments and quickly regained my composure after seeing a few familiar faces on-location. And after that there was no looking back.

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Indian vegetarian recipes

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~Winston Churchill.

Our company is into motion pictures and TVC (television commercials), are you interested in doing a project with us? If yes, we would like to meet you today, as the shoot schedule and the artists are already fixed” the caller on the other end continued and waited for my reply.

Sure, I will come in the evening and let you know about my decision” I replied to ‘C’, producer of the Ad agency.

I got to know the enormity of the said project, a television commercial for Malaysia after meeting the director in evening and was slightly skeptical to take it.

I did write a mail to the producer showing my reluctance to take up the project single-handedly, who in turn, gave an assurance that I will get adequate help from his production unit.

I need to work for two shifts from 7 am to 10 pm…only two days are left to organize the entire shoot, food, props et al…and I don’t have any assistant to support me either” I was grumbling and arguing with my hubby over the pros and cons of the project that night.

Am sure you would have heard the saying that “People don’t fail, they just stop trying.” hubby who was busy watching the election results on television, suddenly turned towards me and replied.

You know, I have seen you building castles in the air and this is the perfect time to put foundation under them. Just believe in yourself and go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Hubby understood the confusion going in my mind and gave his candid opinion.

“I suggest you take up this project, I know you can do it and you are going to love the whole new experience of working with a production house.” He spoke lovingly and convinced me completely with his sweet talk.

Well, I finally reconciled my way of thinking to his and started planning for the shoot.

The day started quite early for me, got up at 5 am, cooked breakfast and lunch for children and hubby before the cab arrived at 6.40 am.

Of late, I have been doing many styling shoots for advertising and packaging companies and have become quite comfortable working in studios. With just the photographer, a couple of representatives from the client and a few assistants, I find the studio environment quite conducive, comfortable and less intimidating to work in. We work like a small family, eat together, suggest ideas, laugh and crack jokes when ever it gets little stressful, which makes the entire process of shooting in studio a fun experience.

I was a bit nervous when I entered the location early morning, what with hundreds of people running helter- skelter carrying giant light boxes, reflectors and the like.

I gave myself a few moments and quickly regained my composure after seeing a few familiar faces on-location. And after that there was no looking back.

The first half was a shoot for poppadoms and the next half was for various spices for an export company.

food styling for advertising

I was peeping through the kitchen, watching the settings done…

The location is being set for the first shoot where the actress’s sister climbs the stairs, hugs her sister who is sitting and reading a book on the couch and the talk about Poppadom begins.

food styling for advertising

The artists enacting their role…

I would have fried hundreds of poppadoms to get a few perfect Poppadoms for the still shoot and for both the actresses to enact the shot.

food styling for advertising

The popular faces of Tamil film industry rehearsing their shots…

Second shift was quite hectic as I did not get the kitchen to work until the first shoot was over. Somehow I could just about manage to put up a decent spread of 10-12 dishes and style the set for individual shots.

The two very popular regional artists, Devadarshini and Delhi Ganesh were to enact the shot.

food styling for advertising

Poor food…it had to face such harsh lights from every corner…

My bad that I am not into watching movies, but it was fun talking and sharing some good times about our families and work life with the actors sharing the same room.

1. Chickpeas in yogurt gravy or Jaisalmeri Chane

Coming back to the recipes, these are the few dishes I made for a small get-together on Mother’s day just after the shoot in a friends house. There were four families and we shared the dinner menu among all of us.

I was given the option to bring something special from Rajasthan or from any part of North India. I planned and prepared some of my favorite recipes I have been cooking for years, Jaisalmeri Chane , tomato bhature, fresh corn pudding and Sindhi Kadhi.

This version of chickpea curry was liked by everyone as the recipe is lighter version of Punjabi chole which has a heavy blend of spices and thick gravy. Tomato Bhature was an instant hit with children, they kept munching it long before the dinner was served. My Sindhi kadhi was served with cumin or jeera rice cooked by the host in her house.

indian chickpea curry, sindhi kadhi and tomato puri

Ingredients;

(serve 2)

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 1 tbsp. chickpea flour
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1” ginger piece
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

Method; Wash and soak chickpeas overnight in plain water.

Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas, whole tomato and peeled onion with 3 cups of water in pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles.

Cool the pressure cooker and mash the tomato and onion with the back of a ladle.

Peel onion and make ginger julienne or chop it very finely.

Mix curd with chickpea flour, salt, chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and combine to mix all the ingredients.

Heat oil in a pan and crackle cumin seeds in it. Add asafoetida powder and pour the curd mixture in it. Keep the flame on medium heat and cook the gravy for 6-7 minutes till the oil starts floating on the sides.

Add cooked chickpeas and cook again for few more minutes.

Take the Jaisalmeri chane or  chickpea curry off flame and garnish it with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

2. Tomato Bhature with Nigella seeds

indian chickpea curry, sindhi kadhi and tomato puri

Ingredients;

(about 20 small bhature)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. semolina
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. sour curd
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp Nigella seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste

Method; Add wheat flour, semolina, Nigella seeds (Kalongi dana) baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and combine well using your fingers or a fork.

Dice the tomatoes and make a puree of it.

Add tomato puree, curd and a tablespoon of oil in the dry flour mix and knead into a soft dough. Add a little water if you find the dough to be too hard.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and keep is in a humid place for atleast an hour. The more time Bhature dough is left to rise the better Bhature taste. At times I do keep the dough overnight to get the typical sour Bhature sold on Delhi roadside shops.

Make small balls from the dough, dust it with dry wheat flour and roll into round circle.

Heat il in a kadai or wok and drop the Bhature in it. Keep the oil on medium heat to avoid burning the bhature.

Remove the fried Bhatura from oil and place on a kitchen napkin. Repeat the same process to make all the Bhature.

These Bhatura  has a wonderful colour and a tangy flavor of tomatoes in it.

3. Vegetable curry with chickpea flour a.k.a. Sindhi Kadhi

indian chickpea curry, sindhi kadhi and tomato puri

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 2 tbsp. chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. Tamarind paste
  • 2 cups of chopped Vegetables*
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 2 Green chilies
  • Ginger
  • Coriander leaves
  • 2 cups warm Water
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. asafoetida powder

indian chickpea curry, sindhi kadhi and tomato puri

Method; I have used the following vegetables for this recipe;

  • Handful of Cluster beans
  • 1 large Potato
  • 10-12 Okra
  • 1 large Drumstick

Wash and chop the head and tail end of cluster beans, drumstick and Okra (ladies finger or Bhindi). Peel potato and dice into small cubes.

Steam all the vegetables for one whistle in a pressure cooker, make sure to keep the veggies crunchy, do not over cook the vegetables.

Grate the tomatoes.

Soak a small marble sized ball of tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and extract the thick juice.

Chop ginger finely and slit the green chilly in two halves.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed wok and crackle mustard and cumin seeds in it.

Add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida powder and sauté for a second.

Add chickpea flour in the wok, reduce the flame and roast the flour till it turns light brown in colour and emits a nutty aroma.

Add warm water and mix it well so that there are no lumps in the gravy.

Add grated tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder, slit green chilly, ginger pieces in the wok and simmer the gravy for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.

Add all the steamed vegetables and tamarind extract in the gravy and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes on low flame.

Garnish the curry with chopped coriander leaves and serve with plain rice.

Try one another version of Sindhi Kadhi cooked in pressure cooker on Alka’s blog,  here.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in cooking on Glossary.

Notes;

  1. Do not roll the Bhatura too thin as it will not make the Bhatura puff up after it is fried.
  2. I try to substitute baking soda with baking powder as the former is known to initiate indigestion in many people.
  3. The Sindhi Kadhi is traditionally made with Kokum, a fruit which gives a distinct tartness and deep red colour to the recipe.
  4. Adjust the consistency of Sindhi Kadhi by adding warm water if the gravy thickens after it cools down.
  5. Use vegetables of your choice to make Sindhi Kadhi.
  6. Normally tomato is avoided in Jaisalmeri chane. I like adding tomato for the colour it imparts to the gravy.

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Recipes | Quick and Easy Indian Sago Desserts – Mail that brings a smile back http://litebite.in/recipes-sago-desserts/ http://litebite.in/recipes-sago-desserts/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 04:45:55 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10583 There is no better time than now to be happy again to receive a mail from Natasha, feature writer of a popular Asian magazine ‘Better Photography’.

"I just had a look at your beautiful blog and I must commend you on your work. Your passion for food really shows! There is such love and care in the way you have arranged your food and props. Being a photographer myself, I really love the picture you have taken. There is a beautiful sense of composition and the colours are stunning :) "

She sent me the above mail a few days back and asked whether she can share a few photographs of mine in their website with due credits to me.

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sago desserts, healthy, egg free and delicious.

A few days back, I was on my way to studio for a commercial photo shoot, wondering when was the last time that I clicked a photograph for my blog. Three non-stop photo shoots, some family commitments and it was becoming extremely exhausting for me to focus through my lens.

I am irregular in my postings on my blog, my pictures look the same and my learning graph in photography has stagnated.” I found myself cribbing to my hubby more often.

Take a break, engage yourself in gardening and let go of the camera for sometime. You are going through what is called as photography burnout and am sure these steps will rejuvenate you again” he suggested.

I did involve in all sorts of fun activities to bring back the smile on my face…sigh..

There is no better time than now to be happy again to receive a mail from Natasha, feature writer of a popular Asian magazine ‘Better Photography’.

I just had a look at your beautiful blog and I must commend you on your work. Your passion for food really shows! There is such love and care in the way you have arranged your food and props. Being a photographer myself, I really love the picture you have taken. There is a beautiful sense of composition and the colours are stunning :)

She sent me the above mail a few days back and asked whether she can share a few photographs of mine in their website with due credits to me.

All the photographs are clicked in natural light with moderate knowledge on digital photography. If you feel my pictures will do justice to your site, please go ahead” was my honest reply to her mail.

And I received her mail the next day with the link to the said post on ‘Better Photography’ website. Below is one of the photographs which has been added to their article and here is the link to their post;

For the love of Food

mango froyo

Published on Better Photography website

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

What better way to celebrate the happy moments with a bowl of decadent Indian desserts.

sago desserts, egg free and healthy recipes

Here are a few simple Indian dessert recipes which could be made well in advance with very ingredients. These desserts are made with white shiny Sago pearls. Sago or Sabudana in Hindi is a form of starch and is mainly extracted from the pith of palm stems or from cassava roots (Tapioca).

Sago is mainly carbohydrate and has very minute quantity of other nutrients in it. Sago is extensively used in many Asian cuisines in breakfast recipes, desserts and even in making porridge.

Sago Upma with diced potato and roasted groundnuts is an all time favorite at home. Sago kheer and pudding are prepared during fasting days in many homes of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

1. Mango-Sago Pudding

I like to add fruits and vegetables to my Sago desserts which not only increases the  taste but makes the recipe a little more healthier.

sago desserts, egg free and healthy recipes

Ingredients;

(serve 4)

  • 1/2 cup Pearl Sago
  • 1 cup Mango pulp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp sugar (optimal)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1-2 tbsp. chopped nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder

sago desserts, egg free and healthy recipes

Method; Wash the Sago pearls in plain water and soak it in one cup of water for an hour. The Sago pearls will absorb water, plump up and become slightly transparent.

Drain the Sago.

I used store-bought coconut milk in this recipe. I also refrigerated the puoch before use which makes the coconut milk to thicken slightly.

You will need one large or two small mangoes to get 1 cup of mango pulp.

Cut the mango and scoop out the pulp in a bowl using a sharp knife.

Bring milk to boil in a heavy bottomed pan.

Add cardamom powder, sugar (if using) and simmer the milk on low heat for 5 minutes.

Add soaked Sago and cook for 6-7 minutes till they become plump and turn soft to touch.

Switch off the heat and let the pudding cool.

Add mango pulp, refrigerated coconut milk, chopped nuts (I used Pistachios) and mix well.

Pour the pudding in individual glasses or bowls, top it with some mango pieces or puree, drizzle a spoon of Honey and let it set in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

2. Sago Pudding in Coconut Milk

sago desserts, egg free and healthy recipes

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1/2 cup Sago
  • 1 cup Coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Palm sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • A few Saffron strands
  • A few Chopped nuts
  • A pinch of salt

Method; Wash and soak Sago in 1 cups of water for an hour. Drain the Sago and keep aside.

Bring water to boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add saffron strands, Palm suagr or white suagr in it and let it dissolve.

Add soaked Sago and cook for 5-6 minutes on low heat, it will take more time depending on the size of your sago pearls..

The Sago pearls will turn translucent and soft. Make sure to keep stiriing the Sago mix to avoid the pearls stickng together.

Add coconut milk in the Sago mixture and simmer it just for a few minutes on low heat.

Do not over boil the coconut milk as it may curdle or split.

Set the pudding in individual bowls and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Sago will make the pudding firm and creamy.

3. Carrot –Sago Kheer

sago desserts, egg free and healthy recipes

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp. Pearl Sago
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • A few nuts

Method; Wash two carrots, chop the head and boil it. I use my small pressure cooker to boil vegetables. You can microwave the vegetable on high for 4-5 minutes.

Grate the boiled carrots.

My quick-fix way to make this dessert is to pressure cook the grated carrot and Sago just for one whistle and then temper the same with nuts and saffron or cardamom.

Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed wok and add chopped nuts and sauté for a few seconds. Add grated carrots in it and sauté on medium heat for 2 minutes.

Pour milk in it and bring it to boil. Add Sago and cardamom powder to the carrot and milk mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.

Switch off the heat and serve the Carrot-Sago kheer warm or cold.

sago desserts, egg free and healthy recipes

Notes;

  1. Use small variety of Sago for quick cooking. You need to cook for extra time if you are using larger Sago variety for this pudding recipe.
  2. Use whole-milk or cream instead of plain milk if you want your pudding to be extra rich and creamy in consistency.
  3. Blend the mango pulp if you don’t like chunks of fruit in pudding. I used the scooped out pulp and mashed it lightly with a spoon.
  4. Sago pudding and kheer become thick after cooking as the sago pearls absorbs water and milk it is cooked in. Adjust the consistency of dessert by adding warm milk.
  5. Use best quality of mangoes to make the pudding recipe as it will give the lovely orange hue to the pudding and also help to sweeten it naturally.

 

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Recipes | Ragi Idly or Steamed Indian Finger Millet Cakes with Chutneys – A way of life http://litebite.in/recipes-finger-millet-idly-chutneys/ http://litebite.in/recipes-finger-millet-idly-chutneys/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 09:52:22 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10570 A simple hobby which started with the percept of organizing recipes through a food blog has gradually metamorphosed into a memoir over the years. If some recipes help reconnect with my roots then the other recipes are woven around my personal experiences reflecting the cultural diversities I live in.

The omnipresent Idly from South India was a delicacy in mom’s place before my marriage. Many Sunday lunches were reserved for steamy hot puffy Idly (steamed rice-lentil cakes) dunked into spicy Sambhar (lentil curry).

The equation changed after my marriage to KK  from South India in 1996. The humble Idly which is often  taken for granted in Chennai is no longer considered a specialty food at my home.

Soaking a set proportion of rice-lentil, grinding the batter, fermenting it overnight and storing the fermented batter in refrigerator has become a way of life now.

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Healthy multi grain Idlies

It was not so long ago when the idea of starting a food blog crossed my mind and since then, there was no looking back.

A simple hobby which started with the percept of organizing recipes through a food blog has gradually metamorphosed into a memoir over the years. If some recipes help reconnect with my roots then the other recipes are woven around my personal experiences reflecting the cultural diversities I live in.

The omnipresent Idly from South India was a delicacy in mom’s place before my marriage. Many Sunday lunches were reserved for steamy hot puffy Idly (steamed rice-lentil cakes) dunked into spicy Sambhar (lentil curry).

The equation changed after my marriage to KK  from South India in 1996. The humble Idly which is often  taken for granted in Chennai is no longer considered a specialty food at my home.

Soaking a set proportion of rice-lentil, grinding the batter, fermenting it overnight and storing the fermented batter in refrigerator has become a way of life now.

The other day I and my MIL were having a casual talk about various methods of preparing Idlies in olden days.

Rice was a luxury in those days and only well off families could afford the precious grain to make pearl white puffy Idlies for their families.” She informed.

I remember most of the workers used to bring off white or brown millet Idlies to work which was quite filling for the amount of hard work they used to do in our farmland.” She continued.

I liked the idea of adding millet to my batter and that is when I started adding a small portion of millet along with rice to make Idlies. The gradual change from rice to millet was so subtle that no one at home could make out any difference.

Chutney is an integral part of any Indian meal and the variations brought in the recipes by chutney lovers are mind blowing. A small piece of ginger, a few sprigs of herbs, a pinch of asafoetida powder, a tiny gooseberry or a clove of garlic can change the taste and aroma of the chutney.

Here are a few chutney recipes and a wonderful spice-mix that I normally serve with Millet Idlis.

1. Sprouted Finger Millet or Ragi steamed Cakes aka Ragi Idlis

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

Sprouted Finger millet or Ragi

Wash Finger millet (ragi) in water to remover dirt and soak it overnight in plain water. Tie the soaked millet in a wet muslin cloth. Hang the muslin cloth in a damp place for two days to let the millet sprout. Keep sprinkling water every now and then.

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

Fermented millet batter

Ingredients;

(makes about 20-22 Idlies)

  • 2 cups Finger millet
  • 1/2 cup Black gram
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 tbsp. Fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

Method; Wash and soak the black gram (urad dal), fenugreek seeds (methidana) and brown rice overnight or atleast for about 4-5 hours.

Grind Black gram in a mixer or a wet grinder into fine paste using adequate amount of water. Do not make the batter too thin.

Remove the Black gram batter in a bowl and add soaked brown rice and sprouted Ragi in the grinder and grind into fine paste using adequate amount of water.

Pour the Ragi-rice batter in the bowl of black gram batter and whisk well with a large ladle. If the batter makes swirls and peaks (as above) when dropped from a height the batter is of right consistency to make Idlies, a tip shared by my MIL.

Add salt to taste and keep the bowl in a warm place for 12-15 hours to start the fermentation process.

To make the millet Idlies, grease the idly moulds or use any flat plate with high-ends and pour the batter in it. Leave some space for the batter to rise when steamed.

Steam the batter in a pressure cooker or steamer for 6-7 minutes without weight or whistle on the lid.

Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let it cool.

Take out the steamed Idlies and serve with chutney of your choice.

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

2. Mint-yogurt spread or Chutney

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup Mint leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1 cup Coriander leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1’Ginger piece
  • 2-3 Red chilly
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • Salt to taste

Method; Wash mint and coriander leave with plain water. Peel and roughly chop onion, garlic and ginger.

Heat oil in a wok and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add chopped onion and sauté for a minute.

Add chopped garlic, ginger and washed mint & coriander leaves in the wok. Saute all the ingredients for 2 minutes on medium heat. Do not over cook the greens.

Add all the ingredients into a mixie and grind.

3. Spicy Tomato spread or chutney

millet idly and chutney recipes

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 4-5 dry red chillies
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. vinegar
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1’ ginger piece
  • 1/2 tsp. grated jaggery or sugar
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Nigella seeds
  • A pinch of asafetida powder

Method; Dry roast cumin, fennel and Nigella seeds in a wok for 2-3 minutes on low heat.

Crush the roasted spices coarsely in a mortar and pestle

Wash and roughly chop about 10-12 medium ripe tomatoes.

Heat oil in a wok and add dried red chilies, ginger, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes on medium heat.

Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and the water content in it is reduced.

Add crushed spice mix, salt, grated jaggery, asafoetida powder, vinegar and mix well. Take it off the flame and let it cool. Store the chutney or spread in a clean glass bottle.

4. Spicy Lentil and Sesame powder or  Milagai podi

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup Bengal gram
  • 1/2 cup Black gram
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 6 dried red chilies
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste

Method; Wash black gram and Bengal grams with water, drain the water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.

Heat oil in a large pan and dry roast both the grams for 6-7 minutes on medium heat till they turn light brown in colour. Add sesame seeds in the same pan and quickly roast it along with the grams for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the grams and sesame seeds in a flat plate and let it cool.

Dry roast the dry red chilies in the same pan for 2-3 minutes.

Add both the grams and dried red chilies into a grinder and grind into coarse powder. Add rest of the ingredients and grind for just a few seconds. Remove it in a plate.

Let the spice mix cool, store it in an air-tight container.

Recipes | Finger Millet Idly and Chutneys

Refer Glossary for names of food and ingredients in Hindi and English.

Notes;

  1. The spreads or chutney stays good for 3-4 days when refrigerated.
  2. You can avoid sprouting the Ragi to make the batter if you are short on time.
  3. Try replacing rice with other millet varieties for better nutrition.
  4. These spreads or chutneys goes well with any Indian flat bread, Naan or sandwiches.

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