30 minutes

Crispy chana dal chivda/snack

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Crispy chana dal snack

Bengalgram Dal/Kadlebele (Kannada)/Chanedal (Konkani) is a versatile dal and often used more to prepare snacks or as seasoning/tadka. Some of the better known chana dal based foods are dhokla, sweet khichdi, puran poli, and also kosambari/salad. My recipe for today uses chana dal to make a crispy fried snack – either to be enjoyed as a ‘time pass’/tiffin snack or with upma dishes. Hope you enjoy it !

What you need to have:

1. Bengalgram dal – 1 Cup

2. Peanuts – 1/3 Cup

3. Chilli powder – 1 Teaspoon

4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

5. Pepper powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

6. Black salt powder – 1/4 Teaspoon

7. Curry leaves – A few

Ingredients of crispy chana dal snack

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and soak Bengalgram/chana dal in water over night. Drain and dry it for about an hour on a dry cloth or in a colander shaking every now and then. While soaking, I usually place a spoonful of saunf/fennel seeds packed in a cloth along with the soaking chana dal. The saunf/fennel seeds enhance the crispiness of the dal and lend a special aroma.

Soaked and dried chana dal

2. Dry roast curry leaves in a skillet till crispy, but make sure it does not change colour.  When cooled, crush/powder a few curry leaves.

Curry leaves being dry roasted

3. Place a skillet with one cup cooking oil on medium flame. When hot, place a holed-spatula in it and fry the soaked chana dal in spatula till crispy. Repeat the process in batches for the remaining dal too. Adjusting the flame of your burner to ensure that the dal isn’t over-fried/burnt. Transfer to a colander to allow excess oil to drain out.

Soaked chana dal being fried in oil

4. In the same oil and spatula, fry peanuts too till crispy and transfer it to the same colander.

Peanuts being fried

Fried chana dal and peanuts

5. Transfer fried chana dal, peanuts to a skillet and add chilli powder, turmeric powder, white pepper powder, black salt powder, salt and few roasted curry leaves and and curry leaves powder from step-2 to it. Fry over simmering flame and stir for a few seconds. Enjoy with with upma, bhel or even as a snack by itself !

Powders and salt being added to fried chana dal

6.  Transfer it to an air tight container – it will remain fresh and crispy for more than a week.                                                                                                             A closer view of the snack

Crispy dal with Avrekalu upma

How long it takes: 30 minutes(other than soaking)

Good to remember:

1. Frying should be on medium flame depending upon one’s burner.

2. Adding peanuts is optional.

Vermicelli / Semiya Laddoo (Diwali special – 2)

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Vermicelli Laddoos

How long it takes : 30 minutes

Number of servings: 10-12 of the above size

Vermicelli / Semiya / Semia is a fantastic ingredient that can be used to make different snacks – sweet and savoury. Given that the marketed brands also offer pre-roasted vermicelli, I prefer to use the branded variety like Bambino or M.T.R., but other local brands are also abundantly available.  I have already put up vermicelli biryani, upma, payasam/kheer and cutlet.  Today I would like to put up Laddoos to add to the existing list of various laddoos.  It is very easy but tasty and different from other laddoos since we feel the aromatic flavour of Vermicelli. Also make for a unique sweet on your Diwali platter. Here it is:

What you need to have:

1. Vermicelli  – 1 Cup ( I have used Bambino vermicelli)

2. Sugar – Little more than 1/2 Cup

3. Pure ghee – 4-6 Teaspoons

4. Grated cashews – A handful

5. Cardamom – 6-8

Ingredients of Vermicelli Laddoos

What you do with what you have:

1. Place a skillet with vermicelli in it and warm it up for about 5- 10 minutes on low heat.

Vermicelli being warmed up

2. In the same skillet, warm up sugar on medium flame in such a way that it crystallizes and does not liquify.

Sugar being crystalised

3. Both roasted Vermicelli and sugar is as shown in the image below.  Add peeled cardamom to roasted sugar.

Roasted vermicelli and sugar

4. Place a frying pan with a little ghee in it and fry grated cashews till brown and crispy too..

Grated cashews being fried

5. On cooling, powder roasted vermicelli and sugar in the mixer to a fine consistency.  Add fried cashews from step-4 and add pure ghee as well.

Vermicelli laddoo mix

6. Mix the laddoo mix well with your hands, bind it to laddoos.  If difficult one can even add a little melted ghee to it and bind it into laddoos.  The laddoos are tasty and one will not even be able to recognize the semiya / vermicelli in it unless otherwise told ! Yummmmmmmmmmmmm…!!!

Ready to serve Vermicelli laddoos

How long it takes: 30 mins

Number of servings:– 10-12 of the above size

Good to remember:

1. If pre-roasted vermicelli is used for the dish it should only be warmed up so that it will retain crispiness.

2. Sugar should be crystalized to help bind the laddoos.

3. Cashews are texture to homogenize with vermicelli texture and make for relishing laddoos.

4. Binding is a bit difficult  since vermicelli does not have the dependable stickiness.

5. Use fresh ghee as far as possible.

Jalebi (Diwali Special – 1)

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How long it takes : 30 minutes

Number of servings: 25-30 of the above size

Jalebi is a crispy, colourful and a very popular sweet among all generations. In my young days in Bangalore, there was a Gujarati stall that made fresh sweets, and my dadwould bring bring hot jalebi from there. I fondly remember how our entire family enjoyed it with immense relish. Indeed I can never forget those days that especially came around Diwali and other festive seasons.   I tried this a couple of times at home and thought of sharing it with my fellow bloggers for this Diwali. People have different versions for Jalebi and this is my version.  Here it is:

What you need to have:

1. All purpose flour – 1/2 Cup

2. Gram Flour (Chick peas atta) – 1 Teaspoon

3. Dry yeast – 1/3 Teaspoon

4. Sugar – 1/2 Teaspoon

5. Cooking oil – 1/2 Teaspoon

6. Zip lock cover – 1

7. Water – A little less than 1/2 cup (Luke warm)

Ingredients of Jalebi

What you do with what you have:

1. Sieve both gram flour and all purpose flour in the atta sieve and keep aside.

Sieved mix of all-purpose flour and chick peas atta

2. Heat the water to a lukewarm temperature and keep it aside.  Dissolve 1/3 Teaspoon dry yeast in a bowl and keep aside for about 5 minutes.  Add the atta mix from step 1 to it.  Also add sugar, oil and luke warm water and stir in such a way that there are no lumps.

Jalebi batter mix

3. Allow it to ferment for about an hour and is as shown in the image below.

Fermented Jalebi batter

Ingredients of sugar syrup:

1. Sugar – 1 Cup

2. Water – 1/2 Cup

3. Saffron – A few strings

4. Cardamom powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

5. Lemon juice – 1 Teaspoon

How to make sugar syrup:

4. Mix sugar, water, Saffron strings in a wide bowl  and keep it aside.

 Ingredients of sugar syrup

5. Place a skillet which is around 4″ height and a little wide with cooking oil in it on medium flame.  Fill in the fermented Jalebi batter in  in a Ziplock cover with a 3 mm hole in its corner and squeeze it till you get the required size of the Jalebi.

Jalebi batter being squeezed to make Jalebi

6. Fry it on both the sides till brown and crispy.

Jalebi being fried

7. Heat the sugar syrup from step-4 on medium flame. When it starts boiling, switch it off and add cardamom powder.

Sugar syrup being boiled

8. Dip the crispy fried Jalebi from step-6 into it for a few seconds and since both Jalebi and sugar syrup are hot, the syrup will be absorbed fast.  Repeat the process for the remaining fried Jalebi.

Fried Jalebi being dipped in sugar syrup

8. Enjoy hot crispy Jalebi .  Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm  Remaining may be refrigerated.

Ready to serve Crispy Jalebi

A closer view of Jalebi

How long it takes : 30 minutes

Number of servings: 25-30 of the above size

Good to remember: 

1. Use fresh maida, chick peas atta for the dish.

2. Adding lemon juice makes the syrup ideal.

3. Use fresh dry yeast, else the batter will not ferment.

4. While frying Jalebi check oil. If it is over heated, switch off and fry after it cools a bit.

5. Adding of colour to Jalebi is one’s choice.  I have not added colour at all as I prefer to avoid colouring agents.

Tomato Rasam

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Tomato Rasam

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 2

The humble Rasam is now a popular dish, substituting for soup in the Indian cuisine and especially makes for good comfort food. It is a perfect simple food, even a relief – especially when you’re back from hectic travel, or recovering from a nasty flu. In fact on a normal day, many youngsters will refuse to have it, only craving for rasam to come to their rescue when illness leaves a bitter taste in the mouth! There are different varieties of rasam, the simplest and easiest version being Tomato Rasam or Saaru as it is otherwise known. I’ve put another version of tomato rasam with toor dal, as well as eclectic versions like pineapple rasam, masala rasam, poli saru, ginger-lemon rasam (another welcome remedy for the ill), and then rasam powder that you may make each time or store for further use. An easy and healthy recipe, one can enjoy tomato rasam with any simple curry or sip it in a cup after the lunch.  This simple tasty recipe is a good beginning for the amateurs and beginners. Here it is.

What you need to have:

1. Tomatoes – 2 Medium

2. Green chilly – 1

3. Tamarind – A pinch or pulp 1/2 Teaspoon

4. Sugar – A pinch but a must

5. Rasam powder – 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon (home made)

6. Choppped coriander leaves – A handful

7. Salt – To taste

Ingredients of Seasoning:

1. Mustard seeds – 1/2 Teaspoon

2. Red chilly pieces – 3-4

3. Asafoetida powder – 1/4 Teaspoon

4. Curry leaves – 2 Sprigs

5. Cooking oil – 2 Teaspoons

Ingredients of Tomato Rasam

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and chop tomatoes and puree it in the mixer to a fine consistency.  Wash and slit Green chilly and chop cilantro and keep it aside.

Tomato puree

2. Transfer Tomato puree (3/4 cup)  to a bowl and add 1/2 cup water, slit green chilly, tamarind, salt, sugar and place it on medium flame. Cook for about 15 minutes till you get a pleasant aroma  of cooking the ingredients, by then tomato puree will have been cooked.

Tomato puree being cooked with other ingredients

Tomato puree being cooked

3. Dissolve Rasam powder in 1/2 cup normal water and mix it to the boiling tomato puree mix.  Also add 2 tender sprigs of Curry leaves which will enhance the aroma and flavour of rasam.  Check for salt and some more water if needed.

Curry leaves being added to boiling rasam

4. Finally add chopped Cilantro and close it with a lid.

Chopped Cilantro being added to boiling Rasam

5. Place a spatula with 2 Teaspoons of cooking oil in it on medium flame.  When hot, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add red chilly pieces, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.  Season the dish with this mixture.

Seasoning in progress

6. Transfer it to bowl.  Serve hot with white rice and a simple curry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ready to serve Tomato Rasam(A closer view)

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 2

Good to remember:

1. Use pulpy and ripe tomatoes for the dish

2. This should be watery since we do not use dal for the dish, but makes for a tasty rasam indeed.

3. Using either a pinch of sugar or a piece of jaggery is a must for extra flavour.

Long Beans Pallya

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Long Beans Pallya

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 4-5

Long Beans is Alsande in Kannada and Valla Sanga in Konkani and is popular here in South Canara as the most common veggie grown in kitchen gardens. It is now grown elsewhere too and a longer improved hybrid  variety is also available.  I have already put up long beans dry curry and today I would like to put up Pallya – a dry side dish which is a simple dish and a good side-dish for rice and dal.  Here it is:

Fresh Long Beans

What you need to have:

1. Chopped Long Beans –  3- cups

Ingredients of Seasoning

1. Mustard seeds – 1 Teaspoon

2. Split Blackgram dal – 1 Teaspoon

3. Red chilly – 2-3

4. Curry leaves – 3-4 Strands

Ingredients of Long Beans Pallya

Ingredients of Masala:

1. Fresh grated coconut – 2 Tablespoons

2. Red chilly – 3-4

3. Turmeric powder – 1 Teaspoon

4. Tamarind – A little

5. Mustard seeds – 1 Teaspoon

6. Salt – To taste

7. Jaggery – 1 Teaspoon

Ingredients of the masala powder

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and remove the tips and chop it into 1/2″ pieces and keep it aside as shown in image-2.  Grate coconut as well and keep it aside as shown in image-3.

2. Grind grated coconut, red chilly , Mustard seeds,  tamarind, salt and jaggery, turmeric powder in the mixer into a medium fine powder without adding water(in wipper mode)  and keep aside. (This dish is a combination of sweet, tangy and a little spicy flavour.)

Ground Masala powder

3. Place a skillet with 4-5 Teaspoons of cooking oil on medium flame. When hot, add mustard seeds to it.  When it splutters add black gram dal to it.  Once it turns light brown, add broken red chilly and curry leaves to it.  Add the ground masala powder from step-2 to it and just stir for a while.

    Seasoning in progress

  Ground masala powder being fried in seasoning

4. Finally, add chopped Long Beans from step-1 to it and close it with a lid with water in it so that vapour cooks the veggie fast. Also, in this way the oil used in the seasoning will remain intact and the dish will be very tasty and aromatic.  As and when the water gets hot, change the water  until the veggie is done.

Chopped Long Beans being added

   The dish being cooked

5. When done transfer it to a serving bowl and serve hot with rice and dal.  Yummmmmmmmmmm

Ready to serve Long Beans Pallya

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 4-5

Good to remember:

1. Tender and fresh long beans would be the best option for this dish.

2. Jaggery is a must. Instead of tamarind, one can even use Bilimbi.

3. All the masala ingredients should be ground raw.

4. The purpose of keeping water to cook the dish is, it will retain the oil in the dish and will retain the  combined aroma of the masala and the veggie too.

5. This is a dish that Kannada Brahmins prepared for most of their weddings and other ceremonies.

Oats Vegetable Roti

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Oats Vegetable Roti

How long it takes: 30 mins

Number of servings: 6

Oats are becoming very popular these days due to growing health consciousness. The response to oats upma and requests for other oats-based dishes encourage me to put up these tasty and healthy recipes which I believe readers like you will enjoy – not only looking at the pictures on this blog but also preparing the dish. Being crispy in texture, oats dishes turn out crispy and therefore tasty, especially in this rainy season. I have already put up Oats Upma, Oats idli, Peanut-Oats Laddoo, Oats paratha and today, Oats veggie roti.

What you need to have:

1. Powdered Oats – 1 and 1/2 cup (I have used Quaker oats)

2. Upma Sujee – 1/2 Cup

3. Chopped Spring Onions – 2 Cups

4. Green chilly chopped – 1

5. Ginger chopped – 1/2 Teaspoon

6. Fresh grated Coconut – 2 Tablespoon

7. Cumin seeds – 1 Teaspoon

8. Fresh chopped Cilantro – 1/4 cup

9. Salt – To taste

10. Few small Banana leaves  – 3-4

 Quaker Oats & Upma Sujee

Other ingredients of Oats Veg-Roti

What you do with what you have:

1. Powder the oats in the dry grinder and transfer it to a broad bowl along with upma sujee/rawa.

2. Wash and chop spring onions and also the greens and keep it aside. Wash and chop green chilly, cilantro, grate ginger and coconut and transfer all the ingredients to the bowl.  Add salt, cumin seeds if needed. One can even add Chopped capsicum to it.

Ingredients in a bowl

3. Add required quantity of water and keep it aside for about 20 minutes so that sujee and oats mix together to the required consistency. Sprinkle a little more water if needed while spreading the dough on the banana leaf.

                                                                                                                                                                 Oats Roti mix

4. Wash and wipe the banana leaf and place a little dough and flatten it to required thickness by dipping your hand in water.

Ready to roast Oats Roti

5. Place a dosa skillet on medium flame with a teaspoon of cooking oil. When hot, place the roti and adjust the flame accordingly with the leaf facing upwards. When roti is done the leaf automatically comes up and can be removed.

Roti being roasted

6. When done, remove the leaf completely and flip it to roast on the reverse adding a little Saffola oil.

Roti being roasted on the reverse

7. Roti is ready to be served and enjoyed hot with tomato sauce/ketchup or any dry chutney powder of your choice.

Ready to serve Oats Veg-roti with Tomato sauce

How long it takes: 30 mins

Number of servings: 6 Roti

Peanut-Dalia Dal Dry Chutney Powder (with & without Copra)

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Peanut-Dalia Dal Dry Chutney Powder

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Makes – 1 Bottle

Peanut and dalia dal are used  in various culinary preparations and also as condiments. I have already put up dalia dal (hurikadle) chutney powder, peanut chutney powder and this is a new chutney powder which can be prepared with minimum copra and even without it.  This chutney powder is a garlic version of the combination to relish with roti, paratha, curd rice or even as a spread on a slice of bread. Here it is.

What you need to have:

1. Peanuts – 1 Cup

2. Dalia dal –  1 Cup

3. Copra – 1/3 cup

4. Tamarind – Size of an areacanut

5. Garlic pods –  8-10 (Raw)

6. Red chilli powder (Byadgi) – 2 Tablespoons

7. Salt – As  per taste

Ingredients of the chutney powder

What you do with what you have:

1. Place a skillet and dry roast peanuts till you get a pleasant aroma and you are able to peel the nuts when you rub with your hands. Peel the roasted nuts on cooling.

Peanuts being dry roasted.

2. In the same skillet dry roast dalia dal till the raw smell disappears and it turns crispy.  Switch the flame off and add chilli powder to it and saute well.

Dry roasted dalia dal seasoned with red chilly powder 

3. Peeled peanuts, roasted dalia dal, chilly powder, garlic pods, tamarind and salt are the main ingredients of this chutney powder.

Roasted ingredient

4. Grind the above mixed ingredients in the mixer to a medium coarse consistency . Enjoy with Roti or Chapati or even Curd rice.

Ready to serve Peanut-Dalia dal chutney powder (without copra)

5. Place a skillet and dry roast grated copra in it till it turns crispy and a nice aroma is given out.

Grated Copra

Roasted Copra

6. To the roasted ingredients from step-4, add this copra and grind it in the mixer to a medium coarse consistency checking for salt. Store it in airtight container using dry spoon will remain for more than 20 days afresh.

Ready to serve Peanut-Dalia dal chutney powder with copra

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Makes – 1 Bottle

1. Use fresh peanuts and clean dalia dal, since at times we find some bitter peanuts too when stale and makes the powder tasteless.

2. Chilly powder depends upon one’s palate

3. Garlic can be increased or decreased as per the whims of one’s taste buds.

4. Store it in airtight containers for the powder to retain freshness.