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Monday, October 5, 2015

Eggless Banana - Chocolate Chips Pancakes

I know it seems like I have dived from one pancake session to another going by my posts recently. I have an excuse however. My both kids love pancakes and my daughter seems to like them a tad bit more. She doesn't mind if they are served for all her meals, everyday. These cinnamon flavored banana pancakes studded with ooey gooey chocolate chips are just her kind. Soft, fluffy and yummy. Quick to whip up and a perfect foil for those over ripe bananas lying in the fruit basket. If serving kids / chocolate lovers, top the pancakes with more chocolate chips. Or omit chocolate from the recipe completely if it is not preferred.

Ingredients for 8 pancakes:
1 tbsp flax meal (Or one egg substitute)
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter
3/4 cup to 1 cup milk at room temperature (Start with 3/4 cup and add more if the batter is too thick.)
1 cup mashed banana / 2 small sized ripe bananas
4 - 6 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
Maple syrup, banana slices & chocolate chips to serve
1. Whisk flax meal and 3 tbsp. warm water together and leave aside for about 5 minutes.
2. Heat a griddle / non stick pan on medium heat such that a drop of water beads when dropped on it.
3. Blend the flax meal mixture and the remaining ingredients mentioned above into a thick batter. (Leave the last one from the list - the maple syrup, banana slices and chocolate chips reserved for serving) 
4. Pour about 1/4 cup batter of batter onto the pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottom side turns golden brown. Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook for about 30 - 40 seconds more. Transfer onto a serving plate. Repeat the steps with the remaining batter.
5. Serve the pancakes warm. Top them with banana slices and more chocolate chips if desired and drizzle with maple syrup.

These go to blogging marathon #57 and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oats - Sesame Parathas

Actually it was supposed to be the day of zucchini pancakes here if not for the minor detail that I missed while picturing them. Flat breads / pancakes had to be pictured along with a side dish according to the BM theme and I had completely forgotten about it when I pictured those pancakes. I realized that today morning while drafting the post and I wanted to bang my head somewhere as I did not have anything else to post. And adding to my woe, the weather has been so bad today with not a ray of sunshine in the radar. I was feeling like going and curling up under the covers than cooking and clicking. I started to dig in my drafts folder to see if I had something suitable and ended up with posts with mediocre pictures. They were in drafts in the the first place for the same reason. 
Somehow late afternoon I decided to make these oat based parathas and was able to get some decent pictures in spite of the gloomy weather. I saw these healthy parathas on a cook show and the recipe has been in my drafts for a while. I did not have time to rest the dough and so I added about 1/4 cup fat-free yogurt while preparing the dough so that the parathas remain softer for longer. It's time now for these parathas, owing to the 'Flat breads / Pancakes' BM theme going on this week here.

1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 to 1 cup wheat flour + extra for dusting
3 - 4 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 green chilies, finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely minced cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil (optional)
Oil / Ghee to toast parathas

* Lightly dry toast sesame seeds. 
* Add all ingredients except the oil to a mixing bowl and combine. Prepare a firm yet pliable dough using water as needed. Knead for a couple of minutes and place the dough in a bowl, covered. Let it rest for about an hour or so. 
* Make lime sized balls out of the dough. Take out a dough ball, flatten it and roll into a thin circle of about 5 inches diameter, dusting with flour if needed.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining dough. One can keep rolling and frying the parathas simultaneously or roll some and start frying while keeping the rest covered.
* Heat a griddle or a shallow pan. Place the rolled out dough circle on the griddle. When the bubbles start to appear, flip it. Spread 1/2 tsp of oil around the edges and fry flipping in between, until brown spots appear on both sides. Remove and repeat the steps with the remaining rolled out circles. 
* Keep the rotis covered until ready to serve. Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen. Just warm them on the griddle again before serving.
* Serve them warm with any subzi / dal. I served them with Vegetable & Soya chunks curry and some tindora chutney.

These go to blogging marathon #57 and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Methi Ni Bhaji Na Puda / Pudla

In the blink of an eye, we are onto another edition of blogging marathon and I am here this week with some flat breads / pancakes. The first one in the series is going to be these puda / pudla. Methi ni bhaji na puda or the fenugreek greens pancakes fall under 'no grinding and no fermenting' kind. They are instant version and can be prepared on the spot making them ideal for quick fix meals. These are packed with nutrition and taste good along with a chutney or a spicy pickle on the side. We enjoyed them piping hot with chutney.

These are one of the Indian pancakes I cooked keeping last month's mega marathon in mind but didn't get to post it as I was unsure of their origin. I came across these on a Gujarati TV show when I was exploring pancakes from the non-south Indian states. The recipe was based on a combination of  flours and fenugreek greens and it was called a puda. Puda / Pudla aka the chickpea flour based pancakes are common through out the Indian region and a mixed flour version pancakes seemed like a creative cook's imagination than being a traditional Gujarati version. Whether Gujarati or not, I made them anyway on a weekend and even the husband who goes usually grumpy seeing besan dosas ate them without complaining.
However I thought of confirming their authenticity and emailed Vaishali as she lives in Gujarat. She promptly checked with her Gujarati friends and came back to me to confirm that pudla are indeed made in Gujarat and the recipe is based on chickpea flour. She of course already knew that but she wanted to be sure. She was also kind enough to add that the addition of other flours and fenugreek greens is indeed giving a twist to the traditional version and I can go ahead with this puda recipe. Thanks a ton Vaishali, for the help.

1/2 cup chickpea flour / Besan
1/4 cup wheat flour
3 tbsp. rice flour
2 tbsp. semolina
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. grated ginger / ginger paste
1 tsp. green chillie paste / finely minced green chillies
1 cup tightly packed, roughly chopped methi leaves/ fenugreek greens
Salt to taste
1/4 cup yogurt
1 cup water
Oil to make dosas

* Combine all the ingredients except oil in a mixing bowl and make a batter of medium consistency.  

* Heat a griddle and pour a ladleful of batter at the center. Spread lightly with the back of the ladle. Pour 1/4 tsp. oil around the edges and cook on medium flame until it turns golden brown.
* Flip and cook the other side as well, about 45 seconds. Remove the puda with a spatula.
* Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
* They taste good when served piping hot with chutney on the side.
These go to blogging marathon #57 and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Recap of 'Buffet on the Table'

Those who follow my blog regularly may have noticed my love for the blogging marathon event, run by Srivalli. I try to participate every month without giving it a skip and specially April & September months become somewhat an adrenaline rush owing to the mega marathons and my procrastination regarding the execution of the intended plan aka the cooking part. The participants are supposed to post continuously excepting Sundays during those two months with pre-set themes decided by the participants early on. I jumped into this mega marathon being as unprepared as I can be and still thoroughly enjoyed it. I cooked 15 out of the total 26 dishes during the marathon and still didn't loose my cool. I think I am getting better at handling the panic situations. :)

Now towards the recap of the "Buffet on the Table' that I promised in my last post. I had overlooked the 'Buffet on the Table' part while planning the dishes somehow and ended up concentrating only on the themes. Besides, my July & August months totally were invested in our India vacation. I had cooked loads of pancakes for kids when they were home during school break in June, which basically gave me the idea for this marathon. And so excuse me if the event is looking more like a dosa / pancake repository than a buffet. :)) Please click on the links provided below to get the recipes.

Week 1 under 'Combo Dishes' theme:


Week 2 under ' Indian States' theme:

6. Kal Dosai (Tamil Nadu)

7. Neer Dosa / Pan Pole (Karnataka)

8. Soru Chakli Pithe (West Bengal)

Week 3 under "Condiments' theme:

Week 4 under 'Breakfast' theme:

23. Baghrir / Beghrir (Morocco & Algeria)

Week 5 under 'Bloggers' Choice' theme:

24. Dahi Chura (India)
25. Paputtu (India)
26. Khaliat Al Nahal (Middle East)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Khaliat Al Nahal / Khaliat Nahal

Folks who follow this blog might have noticed that I have been doing a cooking marathon this month with some of my fellow blogger friends, with a set theme for each week. This week has been 'Bloggers' Choice' week meaning a no preset theme and the participants were free to post whatever they chose. I am ending this run on a sweet note, literally in the form of khaliat nahal. I am going to post a recap of my marathon tomorrow and anyone interested can catchup this month's highlights there.

These images were taken last year, literally on a gloomy day in the middle of winter, indoors and so the quality of the images is not great. Now that thing is off my chest, let's move on to khaliat nahal. Khaliat nahal aka the honey comb bread is from the Arab world and is a part of Ramadan iftar, the meal after fasting. The word 'khaliat nahal' translates into bees' hive in Arabic, an allusion to the appearance of the bread. The buns are baked closer to each other in a round pan like the monkey bread or the cinnamon rolls resulting in a honeycomb like pattern. Usually a slightly sweetened dough is stuffed with cream cheese, baked and glazed with sugar syrup. However this Arabic bread can be made in both sweet and savory versions. Though cream cheese is the most common stuffing, one can come up with their own choice of fillings. I have used sweetened coconut flakes, raisins and nuts for my filling and I think one can use more filling than the original recipe mentions. If doing savory versions, the sugar glaze part is left out. The recipe is quite a simple and straight forward one and it's hard to mess up.

Source: Here
Ingredients for the buns:
1 cup warm milk
1&1/2 tsp. instant yeast / rapid rise yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2&1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar (Omit it if using a savory filling.)
Scant 3 tbsp melted and cooled butter
Ingredients for the sugar glaze:
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Few saffron strands
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp lime / lemon juice
Ingredients for the filling:
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp. raisins
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. almond flakes

* Combine milk, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in a small bowl and leave it aside for about five minutes or until it turns frothy.
* Add flour, salt, sugar and butter to the bowl of a food processor and run a couple of times to mix well. Add the yeast mixture next and knead into a smooth, elastic dough that is not sticky to touch. If it is sticky then add a little extra flour. (I did not have to add any.)
* Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well greased bowl, turning it to coat well with oil. Cover and let it rise in  a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in volume.
* Prepare the sugar glaze in the mean while. Add water, sugar and saffron to a pan and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat. Add honey and lemon juice to it and mix well to combine. Allow it to cool before using.
* Grease a round 9 inch cake tin.
* Prepare the stuffing that you are going to use. I just combined everything under the stuffing list.
* Transfer the dough onto the work surface and divide the dough into 18 portions. Roughly shape them into rounds.

* Take a round and gently flatten it out a little and place a tbsp. of filling at the center. (I think we can go with 3 to 4 tbsp. of stuffing that would be substantial when the buns are baked.) Pull up the sides and wrap the dough around the filling, pinching it closed at the top. Gently smoothen it out into a round ball between your palms.

* Place this stuffed ball in the prepared cake tin. Repeat the process with the remaining 17 dough pieces and arrange them in the cake tin, in concentric circles.
* Cover the cake tin with a towel and again leave it aside for about 30 - 40 minutes, for a second rise.
* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 180 deg C at the final stages of second rising. Bake the buns for about 25 minutes, until they are done and turned golden brown.

* Remove the cake pan from the oven and pour the prepared sugar syrup over the top of the buns. The bread should be hot and the syrup should be cold.

* Let it sit for a while to allow the syrup to set. Serve warm with coffee / tea.
* We enjoyed the soft, chewy buns with the coconut-nut stuffing and the sweet glaze. The only regret was that I should have added more stuffing into the buns. 
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56