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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Sweet plantain fritters

First and foremost, pazhampori or ethakkappam is a quintessential snack from India, mainly southern part. The name, the aroma, the picture – everything about this is delicious!  Sweet plantain is the star ingredient for this particular snack. Plantain itself is a healthy hint. With less sugar and sodium and rich in vitamin A, potassium and fiber, plantains are incredibly rich food for everyone. Ripe plantains can be eaten raw or sometimes folks would steam cook it, especially for young children.

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It is one of my staple foods since childhood. Still I drool over the sight of these bananas. The sweet aroma – as it blackens – when ripe is irresistible. When you pair it with one hard-boiled egg and a glass of milk makes it a rich and healthy breakfast.

Banana fritters

During my childhood, I used to go to my dad’s work place to eat this delicious snack at a nearby restaurant. Their version of banana fritters were different in taste and size alike. It was so delicious and worth the journey! 

Sweet plantain fritters

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pazhampori or ethakkappam is a quintessential snack from India.

Ingredients

Ingredients

-Ripe plantains – 2, sliced vertically

-Oil for deep frying

For the batter

-All purpose flour – 1 cup

-Sugar – 3tbsp

-Salt to taste

-Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp [optional]

Directions

Mix together all the ingredients for the batter by adding little amount of water at a time. The consistency of the batter should not be too thick or thin. Dip the bananas into the batter,fold them well. Deep fry them in the hot oil until light brown in color. Drain it on the paper towel. Enjoy!

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.  

Murukkus – a traditional savory snack

One of the traditional snacks, murukkus has been around since ages satisfying the cravings to munch on something crunchy. Perfectly done spiky coil prepared with rice flour and urad flour is fun to eat. In Kerala & Tamilnadu, you can see these murukkus, varieties of them deliciously displayed in bakery shelves. Folks love to pair it with their evening tea. Kids love to carry these around as it gives the freedom to snap it and eat it in careless oblivion. All in all, murukkus are great savory treats!

Given that murukkus are one of the popular traditional south Indian snacks, you can see awash of murukkus among other goodies during special occasions and festivals. People used to include murukkus when they share festival goodies with friends, family and neighbours. That way I got to eat different versions and loved all of them.

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Like I said, there are varieties of murukku versions. Out of all I’ve a favorite version which is comfortable to munch on…Yep, not all murukkus are soft for that matter! The one I like is soft yet crunchy. Adding urad flour loosens a bit making it less tight. You can simply snap it and throw it in the mouth just like that. And I’ve been following the same recipe since long time whenever I feel like snacking on murukkus, a simple savory treat.

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I know I’m late in posting this snack since the internet is flooded with such delicious recipes. But hey, that doesn’t fill my blog. Hence decided to post it here 🙂 That being said, for me it’s more of nostalgia if I ever try this in my kitchen 🙂

Roasted rice flour – 1 cup
Urad flour – 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp

Combine everything well in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1 tbsp oil. Add water little at a time to form smooth dough. The consistency of the dough should be soft and firm at the same time. Divide the dough in small portions to fit in the murukku press. Cover it and keep aside.

In a pan, heat 2 cups or so oil. Meanwhile, on a wax sheet, press the dough through the murukku press -using the star disc- in a circular motion. Keep it ready.

When the oil reaches the right temperature, gently drop the murukkus into the oil and fry until its cooked and sort of crispier texture. Transfer the murukkus on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.  Enjoy,

Easiest version of ever delicious beef roast

Ever caught a whiff of delicious aroma while leisurely strolling past the stores or road side food vendors? Well, it’s an ongoing scenario in India. Very tempting for me were the spicy corns, chaats and their ridiculously delicious beef fry or beef curry with porotta.

The glorifying combination of soft and tender bite size dry beef pieces cooked in rich spices and finished with dry coconut flakes and curry leaves and layered flat bread or with Kerala porotta would definitely make one indulge in the whole thing. 

A reminiscent of simple beef fry I prepared in the pressure cooker and then finished with fried dry coconut flakes, garlic and curry leaves and extra spices to enhance the flavor is the easiest version of dry beef fry so far.

Beef fry- beef roast

Ingredients

A] Beef – 1 kg, cleaned & cubed
     Yellow onion – 1 large, sliced
     Green chilies – 2, sliced vertically
     Fresh ginger – 2 tablespoon, sliced or crushed
     Fresh garlic – 2 tablespoon, sliced or crushed
     Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
     Chili powder – 1 tablespoon
     Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
     Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
     Garam masala – 1 tablespoon
     Salt to taste

B] Oil – 2 tablespoon
Dry coconut pieces or copra – 1/4 cup
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilies – 2
Garlic – 1 tablespoon, crushed

In a pressure cooker, cook all the ingredients listed in ‘A’ without adding any water to it till it’s done. Remove any excess amount of water and you could use it to prepare for extra gravies.

Heat oil in another pan and add dry chilies and dry coconut flakes or copra pieces. Saute until it’s aromatic and add curry leaves and garlic. Saute for few seconds and add the cooked beef to it. Mix everything well and fry until it’s dry and sort of dark brown in color.

Sprinkle extra teaspoon of garam masala would do the ruse to enhance the flavor.

Kerala special egg roast!

IMG_6063-03Use discretion while watching programs on TV. If so, we get educated, entertained and informed. Use moderation while eating food, if so, we get properly nourished and energized. Follow such simple rules, eventually our life turns out egg-cellent! Never blame food for our flaws!

Yep, you got that right 🙂 am glad to defend this inexpensive yet precious source of protein since I grew up eating eggs for breakfast.  Often it included milk, ripe plantains and hard-boiled eggs, simple and solid deal to stay intact till lunch. It does wonders as a matter of fact. The pattern still afresh, I implement the same in my family as well. As luck would have it, my boys adore it more than me.

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Then there is the savory dish with the same pure and pristine hard boiled eggs, a delightful dish reserved for special occasions and festivals. To me, it’s a wonderful combo to go with almost anything especially with bread and lacy pancakes. The scenario changes as it combined with caramelized sweet onions, garam masala and a hint of tomato puree.  The simplicity and enriched texture when you add boiled eggs makes it one of a kind dish, sort of intriguing at first for a newbie.  What else you need to boast about the day’s deal…

Well, that deserves an awesome quote by Frank McCourt, “Oh, God above, if heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovelier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden?”

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Hard boiled eggs 4
3 tbsp oil
2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 tbsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
Hint of minced ginger and garlic
2 green chilies, halved lengthwise

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In a medium pan, heat 3 tbsp oil.  Add half tsp garam masala and then add the sliced onions and green chilies. Sauté the onions well until soft and sort of brown and crispy. Also it starts to stick at the side of the pan. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder. Sauté the mixture until its well combined for few seconds. Add tomato puree. Mix everything well. Add 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup of water. Bring it to boil for 5-8 minutes. At this point you could see the texture starting to pop, and thickens as well. Add eggs and cover the pan. It’s important to make 1 or 2 incisions to stay the eggs intact while cooking. It will avoid exploding the eggs and ruining the whole dish.  If any doubt, feel free to write to me. 

When life gives you lemons…

pickle..

When life gives you lemons… How about preparing a delicious pickle out of it!

Lemon – Yellow – Pickle

Lemon, 2 cups, diced
Green chillies, 5, sliced vertically
Curry leaves, 1 sprig
Turmeric powder, 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder, ¼ tsp
Asafoetida powder ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Oil 3 tablespoon

Combine the diced lemon pieces, asafoetida powder, salt and green chillies.

In a saucepan, heat the oil in medium heat. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add curry leaves. Sauté for few seconds and turn the heat off. Add the turmeric powder and fenugreek powder. Add the lemon pieces and mix well. Check the salt once again. Transfer it to a nice glass jar and top with a teaspoon of oil.