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Friday, August 26, 2016

Eggless Peach Pancakes

My kids love pancakes and especially my daughter, who is not a fan of spicy variety breakfast dishes, polishes them off without any complaints. These peach pancakes were made especially for her and she enjoyed them with maple syrup. I arranged the peach slices over the pan, poured the batter over them and cooked. Instead, finely chopped peaches can be added to the batter. To make them more flavorful, ground ginger can be added. 
Ingredients for 6 pancakes:
1 tbsp flax meal (Or one egg substitute)
1 cup all purpose flour (Substitute half the quantity with wheat flour for an healthier version.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 cup milk (preferably at room temperature.)
2 peaches
Honey / maple syrup to serve

1. Whisk flax meal and 3 tbsp. warm water together and leave aside for about 5 minutes.
2. Peel and slice the peaches, lengthwise or chop them fine. 
3. Heat a griddle / non stick pan on medium heat such that a drop of water beads when dropped on it.
4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk the flax meal from step 1, melted butter and milk in another bowl. Combine both dry and wet ingredients and whisk the mixture to a thick batter. Stir the peaches in the batter if they were chopped fine.
5. Pour about 1/4 cup batter of batter onto the pan. Arrange 3 to 4 slices on the spread batter. Or place the slices first on the pan and pour batter above them. 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.
6. Serve the pancakes warm with maple syrup or honey.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eggless French Toast (Using Custard Powder)

My daughter in general is not a fan of breakfast sandwiches but loves this version of toast. It is a super quick and easy breakfast recipe for kids during the morning rush hours. I used some leftover whole wheat bread slices for this toast but any version of bread, cut slightly thicker would work good for this toast. Serve it with some fruit and milk to make it a wholesome breakfast.

4 Bread slices
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp. sugar (or adjust as needed.)
2 tbsp. custard powder or corn starch *
Vanilla extract if using corn starch
2 tbsp. butter
* (I used vanilla flavored custard powder and omitted vanilla.)

* Whisk sugar, custard powder / corn starch and vanilla if using into milk in a wide pan or a pie plate.
* Heat a flat griddle / pan and melt 1/2 tbsp. butter on it. 
* Meanwhile, dip a bread slice quickly in the custard powder mixture to coat well on both sides. A few seconds extra soaking will make the bread slice soggy.
* Place the bread slice on the griddle and cook on both sides on low flame, until golden brown.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining bread and custard powder mixture.
* Serve with maple syrup / honey if desired. (If the sugar quantity in the recipe is increased, the toast would be sweet as it is and may not need any garnishing.) 

This is going to be my contribution to 
1. Kids' Delight event under the theme 'Breakfast for Kids', hosted by Nisha.
2. Blogging marathon #67


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Guntha Ponganalu / Paniyaram

Ponganalu is a sought after breakfast / evening snack in my home as majority of us love it. This used to be one of my favorite breakfasts while growing up and now, I see my son and and my nieces showing same enthusiasm towards it. In fact, I haven't come across anyone, whether they are kids / adults who would refuse fluffy ponganalu, when offered. I have 3 specific recipes for ponganalu which I keep rotating and they all yield really super fluffy, yummy ponganalu. However, I keep recycling leftover idli batter now and then to ponganalu as my son and I love prefer those over idli any given day.

2 cups freshly fermented / left over idli batter
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
Salt (only if it was not added to the batter before.)
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. chana dal / split chickpeas
1 tsp. urad dal / split black gram
Few minced curry leaves 
* Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, urad and chana dals to the oil. When dals start turning reddish, add the minced curry leaves.
* Add this tadka and minced onion to the fermented batter and mix well.
* Heat the ponganalu skillet and add a few drops of oil in each mould. Then fill them with batter.
* Cover the skillet with a lid. Lower the heat and cook until the batter doesn't appear raw on the surface. Or use a skewer and gently lift to check the bottom to notice if any golden brown spots formed.
* If golden brown spots are formed, add a drop or two of oil on the surface of each of the ponganalu and flip them using a flat spoon/skewer. Cook until the other side lightly browns as well.
* Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve them warm with a chutney of your choice.  
* They store well in refrigerator for 2- 3 days. And they freeze well too for a handy breakfast on a busy work day.

This is going to be my contribution to 
1. Kids' Delight event under the theme 'Breakfast for Kids', hosted by Nisha.
2. Blogging marathon #67


Friday, August 5, 2016

Mushi Pan / Double Chocolate Steamed Cake

This is one of the dishes I prepared for the marathon early on blogging marathon when I did the global cuisine and has been in my drafts folder for the past two years. This was supposed to be for J - Japan which I tried twice and these steamed cakes had turned out nice and fluffy each time. The original recipe is egg-based one and the buns had nice domes with slight cracks. I used different egg substitutes each time I made them but both times the tops cracked and I wasn't happy with the look and so another dish was picked for that event. However as I mentioned earlier, they have perfect texture and taste and my kids loved them. And so I thought why not publish it at least now? Perfect tasting dishes don't need to look perfect, right? Besides they can be prepared in a small quantity and one doesn't need to turn on the convection oven to prepare these. These are steamed and are ready on the table in a short time, the time that one needs to preheat the oven. And of course these cupcakes can be topped with frosting and none can get wiser about any cracks on the top. :)

The original recipe gave two versions, one with corn and cheese and the other one with chocolate and I went with the latter. I  prepared these in a wide pressure pan though they can be steamed in a frying pan with a lid.
Recipe Source: Here
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1.5 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg substitute
3 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 to 3 tbsp. chocolate chips
4 ramekins + 4 cupcake liners / 4 steel bowls

* Glass ramekins with paper liners can be used if using the frying pan. I used small stainless steel bowls. Cover the lid with kitchen towel. This will prevent the water formed from condensation to drop on the steamed cakes.
* Add water to a wide pressure / frying pan so that the water level would come halfway up the ramekins / bowls being used. Bring the water to a boil.
* Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Whisk egg substitute, milk, sugar and oil together in another bowl until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.
* Pour the mixture up to 2/3rd of the paper liner / cups. Place the ramekins / bowls into the pan and cook covered on medium heat, until a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean, about 8 to 10 minutes.
This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #67 under 'Pick one appliance and Cook 3' (My choice being pressure cooker). Check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tomato Pappu ~ Andhra Style Tomato Dal

 A pressure cooker in an Indian kitchen is as indispensable as any other pot or pan is in other kitchens. No surprise there considering that rice and lentils are cooked on a daily basis in majority of the Indian homes and a pressure cooker cuts down the cooking times drastically. Today's lentil preparation from the south Indian state of Andhra is a classic example of cooking using the said appliance, which can be prepared in about 10 - 15 minutes, with about 2 minutes prep time included. This simple and tasty pappu would make a great side dish for rice / Indian style flat breads. This is how my mother makes all her pappus though I happen to add the tamarind juice at the end since there will be bits of tamarind in the dal, when cooked this way and one needs to pick them out while eating. 

1 cup toor dal / lentils
2 tomatoes
3 - 4 green chillies (I used 3 spicy, Serrano peppers.)
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. sized ball of tamarind
1.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Few curry leaves
2 -3 pinches of asafoetida powder

* Wash the toordal in two exchanges of water and drain. 
* Chop tomato into cubes and slice the chillies lengthwise. 
* Add toordal, 2 cups of water, turmeric, green chillies and tomato to a small sized pressure cooker directly or to a container that fits in a pressure cooker. Add tamarind and 2-3 tbsp. of water in a small cup and place it on the over the lentil mixture in the cooker or the container. (The idea is not to mix the lentils and tamarind together while cooking since the tamarind interferes with the cooking of lentils. The lentils may not cook properly.)
* Pressure cook them and when the valve pressure is gone, remove the cooker lid. Add salt and the cooked tamarind to the cooked lentil-tomato mixture and mash lightly to the desired consistency using the back of a ladle.
* Heat oil in a small pan and cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add asafoetida and curry leaves to the pan and turn off the stove. Add this tadka to the above lentil preparation and mix once with a ladle to combine. Some minced cilantro can be added as garnish, if preferred.
* Serve warm with rice / rotis.
This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #67 under 'Pick one appliance and Cook 3' (My choice being pressure cooker). Check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Coconut - Soya Chunks Pulao

Though an unintended one, I was on a blogging break for the past couple of months. And it proved to be the one I very much needed with the kids around home with their summeer breaks, visiting guests and plethora of other things that one need to tackle around in order to get going. I am still in lethargic mood and today's one pot meal is a proof of it. A simple, nutritious meal that can be put together in around 10 minutes, using a pressure cooker. The coconut milk lends a subtle flavor base to this soy chunks based pulao. Pair it with some plain yogurt and you end up with a quick, lazy meal without putting in much efforts or time.

Ingredients: (yield 4 servings)
1 cup Basmati rice
1/2 cup soya chunks (I used small sized ones.)
1/4 cup yogurt
Salt to taste
3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1" piece of cinnamon
 2 bay leaves
1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
2 chopped green chillies
1 chopped onion, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp. garam masala
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp. chopped mint leaves

* Wash and soak rice in water for about 10 minutes and drain. Meanwhile whisk salt and yogurt in a bowl and add soy chunks to it. Mix well and and keep aside.
* Heat oil in a small sized pressure cooker directly. Add cumin, clove, cardamom, cinnamon and  bay leaves. Saute until cumin changes a shade darker.
* Next add ginger - garlic paste, chili and onion. Saute for a couple of minutes.
* Add soy chunks mixture, garam masala and mint leaves to the cooker and stir to combine.
* Next add rice, coconut milk and about 3/4 cup water to the cooker. Cover the lid and cook for three whistles. Remove the lid when valve pressure is gone.
* Garnish with extra mint leaves before serving.

This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #67 under 'Pick one appliance and Cook 3' (My choice being pressure cooker). Check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.