Saturday, 3 December 2016

Chola Adai | Easy Breakfast Recipe

Everyone is going crazy over millets and their health benefits. I discretely add millets into our meal so my folks never know what actually goes into a dish as they are not able find a change in taste and I am happy that I am serving nutritious meals to the family.

One such meal had this Chola adai. Cholam or Shorgam is a very healthy millet. This used to be one of the major crops in the Kongunadu region in South India.. It grows well in dry areas and is nutritious too.Sadly these days,shorgam is replaced by rice as the staple food.

The batter for this dish does not require fermentation and can be used to make adai as soon as the batter is ground. So it makes for a quick breakfast if you remember to soak the grains the previous night.Or you can soak it in the morning and use the batter for dinner.



This dish goes to Blogging Marathon #71, Week 1, Day 1, themed 'Make a meal'.

I used:

Cholam / Shorgum - 1 cup
Mixed lentils - 1 1/2 cups [I used toor dal, channa dal, urad dal]
Red chilies- 2[adjust to taste]
Onion -2,finely  chopped
Curry leaves-a few chopped
Coriander leaves- a handful,chopped
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder- a large pinch
Salt to taste

Soak the cholam,chilies and the lentils for 4-5 hours at least.Wash well and drain. Grind in a mixie / grinder adding water little by little to form a thick batter.
Transfer the batter onto a vessel and add salt, asafoetida powder,onion, coriander leaves, curry leaves, cumin seeds and mix well.


Heat a griddle and pour a ladle full of batter in the center and spread to a circle. Drizzle a bit of oil around teh adai if needed. Cook on both sides till done.


Serve with a side of your choice. We had this Tomato Kurma and unrefined cane sugar [ karumbu sakkarai]


Note:

You can also make this without adding the onions, coriander and curry leaves like the one you see in the picture above. When I made it the second time I left out the add-ons and made a plain adai which also tasted as good as the regular adai..

Here is another dish from the Kongunadu REgion using Cholam - Chola paniyaram that you can try for breakfast / snack.

BMLogo 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#71

Bon Appetit...



Friday, 2 December 2016

Eggless Gingerbread Man Cookies | Easy Holiday Bakes

When I was a kid, I remember reading the story of the gingerbread man. An old lady bakes a gingerbread man and lets it cool by the window .Unfortunately, the gingerbread man leaps to life and runs out of the window, shouting 'Don't eat me!'.

Since then I have always had a spot for this cookie. I have looked around for this cookie cutter in many places yet could not find it. Almost a year back, Sharmi lent me this cutter and each time I plan to make this somehow I ended baking something else!

Finally, a few days ago I baked these and the kids loved the shapes and eagerly took them to school for the snack box.From what I heard through the kids,their classmates loved them equally and the two happily shared them with their friends.



I followed Sharmi's recipe.Since the cookie cutter is really small, she warned me that it makes a huge batch.So I made the dough and used only half of it and got almost 50 cookies.So the number of cookies depends on the size of the cookie cutter and also the thickness of the rolled out dough. Also if you don't have this cutter, you can use any other shape as well.

Though I followed Sharmi's recipe, I have made some changes. I have used whole wheat flour here and adjusted the spice quantity. It's been a long time since I used refined flour in bakes.I was a little skeptic in using Whole wheat flour but when I tasted the cookies, I felt my worries were unnecessary!

After making the cookies, I went in search of its history.Wiki states that it was made way back in the 16th century and were served at the court of Elizabeth I, England!! She also made cookies in the shape of important guests! Interesting isn't it!!

I used:
Adapted from : Sharmis Passion

Whole wheat flour - 1 1/4 cups
Demerera sugar- 1/4 cup, tightly packed
Honey-1/4 cup
Unsalted butter, at room temperatures- 50 grams
Baking Soda- 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
Warm milk-as needed [ see note below]

Spice mix:

Cinnamon powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Dry ginger powder- 3/4 teaspoon
Clove powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Grated nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon

Cardamom powder- a large pinch


For the Royal Icing

Finely powdered sugar - 1/4 cup
Corn flour -3/4 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1/2 teaspoon
Milk- 1-2 teaspoon / as needed
Red and green food colors - as needed

Powder the sugar along with the spice powder and keep aside. In a bowl take the whole wheat flour and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and mix well.



Cream butter with the sugar till nice and fluffy. Add honey and beat for a minute


 Now add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and form a smooth non sticky dough.I added a little warm milk to as the mixture was a bit dry. Maybe it was because I used whole wheat flour. So, when you make the dough see if it is ok or dry and then add milk if needed. Form a ball of the dough and cling wrap it and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour


After an hour [or the next day, as in my case!], take out a small portion of the dough and roll it out uniformly. If it is rolled too thick, the cookies will be chewy. If it is too thin, it will bake too fast and burn.Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, punch out shapes and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

 
Leave a little gap between the cookies.Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes[see note below]. Once the bottom of the cookie is brown, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat for the remaining dough.


For the royal icing, take the sugar, corn flour in a bowl and whisk well.


Add lemon juice and mix. Then add milk drop by drop to get a slightly thick yet flowing paste. Divide into three parts and add red and green food color to two of them.


Pack them into small cones which have a very small opening / nozzle. Pipe designs and enjoy decorating the cute gingerbread men.



Note:
  • I used a little warm milk to knead the cookie dough as it was a bit dry. The original recipe does not use milk though.
  • The number of cookies for this quantity of dough will depend on the size of the cookie cutter and also the thickness of the rolled dough.
  • The baking time will also vary with the size of the cookies and the thickness.
  • The cookies will be soft as soon as they come out of the oven and will turn crisp after they cool.Else bake again for a few more minutes. 
  • Use finely powdered sugar for the Royal icing else you won't be able to pipe out the decorations.
  • Start decorating the cookies after they have cooled completely
  • Start with a very small tip while piping.This also depends on how small / large your cookie is.
  • You can make the dough the previous day ,bake it a day or two later and finish the icing a couple of days later!That's exactly what I did! 
  • After a few days in the box, the un-iced cookies turned a little soft.I baked them again for 3 minutes and they turned crisp.
  • I used only half of this dough. I cling wrapped the remaining dough and refrigerated it for a week and baked another variety of cookies with that dough.The dough was good!
I have joined a group of friends in a baking event called Bake-a-thon.We will be posting baked goodies on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays all through December.Do take a look at what we all have baked!!

   

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016
 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Kids Lunch Box Series # 9 |Carrot Mini Rava Idli and Chutney

Sometimes mini idli gets boring for the lunch box. So here in an other alternative for a quick meal to pack for teh box.These mini idlis are made of white rava and I have added grated carrot to it to increase the nutrition value and also makes it look more colorful.


In the Lunchbox

Chutney



Pre-preparation:

  • Make the batter the previous night and store in the fridge. Remove it from the fridge the first thing in the morning so that it comes to room temperature before you steam the idlis.
  • If the batter has thickened add a little water / curd to bring it to the right consistency.
Note:
  •  It is OK to pack coconut chutney in winter as it will not go bad. But in summer I avoid coconut chutney in the lunch box and pack tomato onion chutney instead. 
Bon Appetit...