Steamed wheat-rice cake – Wheat puttu

Quite interesting name! For us it’s simply puttu made with roasted wheat or rice flour. But what I have for this post is about puttu made with wheat flour.

When roasted wheat flour blends with fresh grated coconut it only enhances the flavor and takes it to the next level. That makes wheat puttu ridiculously rich and deliciously aromatic breakfast item. In Kerala and some other parts of southern India, wheat puttu is very popular even if it doesn’t have any fancy tags on it.

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It has many variations based on the creativity, either you can opt for the sweet version or the non-sweet version of it. No matter what version you like, puttu is generously filling and gives a sense of satisfaction. The best combination for puttu I enjoy is with butter, hint of sugar and sliced banana which is appealing and elegant to entice anyone.

That being said, the taste purely depends on the texture and the consistency of the flour. Flour must be roasted without burning. Any hint of burned smell would spoil the entire deal. You can say the flour is at its right stage when it slides like dry sand. Feel free to also follow your instincts. Remember to lower the heat when the pan is really hot to the touch. And consistently stir and often check the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to make sure the flour is not browning. If you’re able to take care of these critical stages, you’re good to go!

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As you prepare the flour for the puttu, adding water cannot be so generous. Add little water at a time as you would do for the pie dough – sort of like coarse yet moist texture – more like bread crumbs. Too much water will make it soggy and too little water make it dry. You will find it really hard to steam it. In fact it stays the same and doesn’t hold up the shape in the puttu candle. So the ruse is when you’re done mixing the mixture , take a pinch of the mixture and press it between the thumb and the point finger. If it holds up the shape and stays the same and at the same time as you drop if it slide back into coarse texture the consistency is right.

I often opt for 3:1 ratio for the flour – 3 cups of wheat flour and 1 cup of rice flour. ¾ cup of grated coconut. Even frozen coconut works great!

Steamed wheat-rice cake - Wheat puttu

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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When roasted wheat flour blends with fresh grated coconut it only enhances the flavor and take it to the next level.That makes wheat puttu ridiculously rich and deliciously aromatic breakfast item. In Kerala and some other parts of southern India, wheat puttu is very popular even if it doesn't have any fancy tags on it.

Ingredients

wheat flour – 3 cups

rice flour – 1 cup

salt to taste – ¾ tsp

sugar – 1 tbsp or more if you prefer more sweet

Water 1 – 1 ¾ cup of grated coconut

Puttu candle

Directions

Combine the flours and roast well.

When it cools down, add salt and sugar.

Sprinkle half cup of water over the flour and blend well.

At first you’ll find it hard to incorporate the mixture. But don’t worry. Keep adding water – but, only little at a time and keep mixing with a fork and a butter knife. It does a fantastic job. Or you could pulverize in a food processor. And when it reaches the consistency, make sure by taking a pinch of the mixture and press it between the thumb and the point finger. If it holds up the shape and stays the same and at the same time as you drop if it slide back into coarse texture the consistency is right – sort of like coarse yet moist texture – more like bread crumbs. Keep it aside.

Boil water in the pot that comes with the puttu candle or if you have the pressure cooker version boil water in the pressure cooker. When the water reaches the 100֯c point fill the puttu candle with the mixture by adding grated coconut at the base then the mixture, adding coconut again between the mixture would enhance the taste and the aroma is amazing. Once done with filling place it on the pot or the cooker until you see the steam coming through. When the steam flows smoothly yet rigorously is the signal that the puttu is ready. Gently remove the candle and push it through with a skewer or any kind of thin clean long stem.

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Whole grain breakfast muffin

Who doesn’t like a healthy touch – a fiber rich breakfast – in the morning? A rich breakfast to keep you strong and healthy, keeping fatigue at bay..

Instead of filling the tummy with so much grease and calories as soon as you wake up, start with something light and healthy to break the fast, for a fresh and active morning.

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The idea of whole grain breakfast perfectly fits the bill. In every manner it’s a go to snack as well if you prefer snacking in between.

The concept of adding little bit of everything, mainly oat flour, wheat flour, hint of few types of seeds and honey for sweetness did work fantastic without any hint of stickiness or dryness.  

Just rearrange the recipe and follow the instincts 🙂 Little adjustment with the flours based on the volume and density would work. And there lies the secret of having a moist breakfast muffin. This muffin has everything in it, well balanced amount of grains and ingredients to satisfy the palate. More than that since I replaced sugar with honey this is absolutely a perfect deal.  Enjoy the sweet aroma and then eat! Make everyday a better day!

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You don’t have to exactly follow the crowd since the crowd often follow things with their eyes closed, eventually ends up in the ditch. Instead consider your body and health, the easiest yet wisest approach to stay healthy

Sweetened coconut stuffed rolls

Happy Mother's Day!

These rolls are a great deal when you’re tight for time! The subtle sweetness from the coconut and the buttery flavor from the bread makes it quite a treat.  Even though it’s sweet just like any other sandwiches it fills the tummy and makes you feel happy and satisfied. It was one of my favorites and had eaten these rolls quite often during my stay in Bangalore, a lot of ‘it.

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Although it has been ages since I left that part of the world, the taste and the memory still stays afresh!  The simple coconut mixture gives you various other ideas with it. Inspired by the sandwich, my version has dry fruits and preserved cherries to enhance the texture and taste alike. It puffs up neatly leaving the mixture inside intact yet well blended.

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Sweetened coconut stuffed rolls

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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These rolls are a great deal when you’re tight for time! The subtle sweetness from the coconut and the buttery flavor from the bread makes it quite a treat!



Ingredients


For the filling
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup dry fruits of your choice
¼ cup raisins
Pinch of salt and cardamom
Blend everything well.

For the rolls
2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
¼ cup warm water
1 ½ tsp yeast

Directions

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Mix together egg with milk. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and the egg mixture to the flour. Knead well – really well for few minutes. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place. After 1 hour or so, punch down the dough and knead again. Divide the dough into small equal portions. Roll out the portions lengthwise. Spread the filling and close all the ends while maintaining the log shape roughly as of a hot dog bun size. Leave the filled rolls in a warm place for another 30 minutes. Bake at 350 oven for 20-25 minutes,


Hot chocolate mix

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I wouldn’t  have tried it ever if I didn’t run out of ready to mix chocolate powder. Not a big deal, I know, but the thought was so intense. This is the time! Instead of nostalgia, this time though, curiosity kicked in 🙂

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When the scarcity and curiosity were on the scene, my instinct had to work hand in hand with them. As luck would’ve it, the trio had done a fantastic job.

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The whole scenario made me to dig deeper, to get a good sense of it. All I had to do was maintaining the consistency, and balance the taste. Vanilla and salt are two unlikely ingredients. But I took the chance anyway. Yep, although I’ve added vanilla and salt – it didn’t distract or disturb the course at all. Still it’s purely optional! It’s not that difficult as I thought it would be. Anyway, curiosity didn’t kill this cat 🙂 Oh, some people love to add marshmallows to their hot chocolate – well, maybe I should try one! You know, for us, in Atlantic Canada, it’s still Winter in the middle of Spring. Snow for some reason hesitates to leave the stage. It’s so heavenly and peaceful, indeed! 

1 cup fine sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups of powdered milk
1 drop of vanilla
Hint of salt – just a hint!!!

Blend everything well. Store it in an airtight container. Refrigerate it. Enjoy!

Garlic toast – green gram sunny brunch

A plate full of pleasant ingredients and a hint of happiness – I couldn’t ask for more.  Although it was on a whim I decided to fix something quickly for my brunch. As I started adding things together, the requirements kept rising. To get an appealing texture for my brunch – two slices of garlic toast and a sunny side up egg needed something to connect each other and also a nice contrast.

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My mind was fixated on something green – mostly avocado mixture. I didn’t want to do any extra chopping or slicing or such. Simple, healthy yet elegant – that was the picture in mind. But, green gram was never in the picture. As I opened the refrigerator a quick glance at the box changed the course. The texture of it seemed right to use as the base spread. Hence the addition of green gram and then top with bacon bits and sprinkle some parsley over would go great! This is for sure a no recipe item.  

Apple pie

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Apples are nature’s own delicious treat straight from the garden and baking an apple pie is simply a pleasure if you love cooking own food and capturing it in digital format. I’ve another reason as well. My family loves my version of apple pie. When they say, my mama bakes the best pie. Honestly it scares me 🙂 That means there is no room for error and negligence! On a positive note, that’s indeed encouraging! Am so grateful for that. So I take it as a nudging force to ace it anyways 🙂  

So, my freezer has a good amount of apple pie mix ready to use. As I said, I have been baking pies all along! Although I’ve tried different recipes with the mix, apple pie stands out for some reason. I love the combined flavor of apple and cinnamon. The aroma is so delicious and divinely soothing to the senses. It gives a good vibe in the kitchen as well.

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So after the blueberry pie saga, the next in mind was apple pie. And I had a half portion of dough saved in the refrigerator and baked a fantastic looking -divinely delicious apple pie. Luckily the next morning was so darn pleasant and sunny and bright to click few pictures to save and savor the apple pie saga.

Rice noodles – String hoppers

The delicious string, also known as idiyappam, is one of the culinary wonders and a widely popular breakfast or dinner item of Southern India. The interesting part I like about it is that these rice noodles can pair with anything from sweet to savory. And my favorite is always sugar and butter. My hubby’s favorite is as same as mine but with an extra addition of hard boiled egg. Other combos are mild egg curry, mutton or chicken stew etc..

Still I enjoy eating Kerala’s own delicious idiyappam here in my home away from home as well. These days it’s sort of easy to prepare since all the ingredients are readily available in the market. That wasn’t the story years ago. I remember my grandma’s tough task of soaking the rice to roasting the flour. Roasted rice flour smells so wonderful… And the result was so darn amazing!

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The crucial part is mixing the rice flour with hot water and maintaining the soft and smooth consistency. Any hint of raw flavor and the grainy consistency would spoil the whole deal. It happened with me a lot of times. We tend to use more cold water due to the unbearable heat and there won’t be any visible difference in the beginning as well. But when you start the process of squeezing out from the idiyappam press, the strings will break apart and end up a pile of broken thread.