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Saturday, December 19, 2020

Vegan Banana Bread

Banana bread is a favorite at home while it comes to quick breads category and this eggless bread is my to go recipe as everyone thoroughly enjoys it. I therefore usually don't go around looking for a banana bread recipe, to be honest. I accidentally came across this banana bread recipe at KAF which happens to be their 2018 Recipe of the year. I am a fan of their recipes and decided to give this one bowl banana bread recipe a try. It was a good bread though my pictures taken from a mobile don't do justice to it.

I substituted for the eggs in the recipe with flax meal eggs making it a vegan bread and prepared it using only all-purpose flour. I halved the recipe and baked in two mini loaf pans. This is a moist and flavorful bread and very forgiving when it comes to substitutions according to KAF. I have mentioned some of those here. The bread can be prepared using whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour alone. If looking to reduce the fat in this recipe, half the quantity of oil can be replaced with apple sauce or yogurt. Or replace the entire quantity of oil with full fat yogurt. Brown sugar can be replaced by white granulated sugar if that is what you have on hand. The oil in the recipe can be replaced by 2/3 cup butter if you prefer the butter flavor more. The banana can be replaced by applesauce to make applesauce bread. The walnuts in the recipe can be substituted with other chopped nuts and dry fruits or can be omitted if you have nut allergies. The batter can be used to make muffins instead but the baking time would be around 20 to 23 minutes.
Wet ingredients:
Any substitute for 2 eggs (I used flax eggs.)
2 cups thoroughly mashed banana (About 5 medium sized ones)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used walnuts, pistachios, craisins and raisins.)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

* If using flax eggs, combine 2 tbsp. flax meal and 6 tbsp. water in  a small bowl and keep aside for about 5 minutes or until it thickens. Skip this step if using eggs.
* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Reduce the temperature to 325 deg F if using a stoneware or glass pan. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
* Stir together all wet ingredients in a large bowl. 
* Mix the dry ingredients into the banana mixture. Scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine the ingredients. 
* Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon (topping) and sprinkle uniformly over the batter. (I didn't use any topping and sprinkled some nuts.)
* Bake the bread for about 60 to 70 minutes, until the bread feels set on the top and a toothpick or a thin knife inserted at the center comes out clean. (The baking time may increase by about 10 to 15 minutes if using stoneware or a glass pan.)
* Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes. Loosen the edges and transfer the loaf onto a rack to cool completely.
* Th left over bread can be stored at room temperature for several days or frozen for longer storage.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Vegan Banana Oat Waffles

I was cleaning up our pantry a few months ago and finding ways to use up those odds and bits from the bins. This recipe was an interesting find to finish off that last portion of the oats that were lying untouched in the can for months. Of course I could make only a small portion which my daughter thoroughly enjoyed for her lunch that day. 

These light and fluffy pancakes are gluten-free and vegan. These are made with oats, banana, almond milk and flax eggs. They make an easy and fuss-free breakfast. In fact, all you need to do is blend the ingredients and make waffles. They can be made in a big batch and extras can be refrigerated or frozen, stored in plastic wraps. They can be reheated in a toaster oven when needed.
Recipe source: Here
Ingredients: (Yield - about 4)
2 flax eggs
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
1 medium sized ripe banana
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 packet stevia / preferred sweetener

* For flax eggs, combine 2 tbsp. flax meal and 6 tbsp. water in  a small bowl.
* Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
* Meanwhile preheat the waffle iron. 
* Cook waffles in the waffle iron as per the manufacturer's instructions. Leave the waffles a little longer after the waffle iron goes off to make the waffles a little crisper.
* Enjoy them warm with any preferred toppings like maple syrup, fruits, honey / others.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Chuda Santhula

Poha is a quick and tasty breakfast dish prepared in India under various regional names and variations. Poha, though usually associated with the state of Maharashtra is equally popular in other regions as well. The basic recipe involves rinsed flattened rice being tossed with sautéed onions and spices. There may be extra additions like vegetables, ground peanuts or coconut depending upon the region. Today's version comes from Odisha, a state from the eastern parts. This version is tasty as well and fennel seeds lend their unique flavor to it.
Below are some versions that have been posted earlier.
2 cups thick flattened rice / poha
2 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. peanuts (optional)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/2 tsp. grated / finely chopped ginger
2 green chilies, chopped finely (adjust the quantity as needed.)
1 big sized onion, sliced
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt

* Rinse flattened rice with water and drain in a colander and leave it aside. Or if needed, soak for few minutes until they soften.
* Heat oil in a pan / kadai and add peanuts if using, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. 
* When the peanuts start to turn brownish, add ginger and green chilis and sauté for few seconds. Next add onion to the pan and stir. 
* Saute onion on low heat until it turns translucent. 
* Next add tomato and turmeric to the pan and stir well. 
* Cook until the tomato turns almost mushy. 
* Finally add the rinsed beaten rice and salt. 
* Mix well with a spatula, and if the mixture appears dry, sprinkle one or two tbsp. of water and toss again. Adjust the quantity of salt if needed. 
* Cover the pan and continue to cook on low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes and turn off the stove. Serve it hot immediately.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Burfi - Bread Pudding

This pudding was randomly mentioned in an online article that I read sometime ago. There was no mention of the quantities of ingredients or any specific recipe though the idea of using burfis in the pudding stuck with me for years now. Burfis are Indian variety sweets that are usually nuts or flour based and are usually square shaped. This pudding can be prepared using any leftover burfi or mithais you have on hand. I used chickpea flour based burfi / besan burfi here. 
This pudding is a great way to recycle those burfis / mithais you have lying around untouched after any festival / celebration. All you need to prepare this really tasty and fuss free pudding are some left over burfis, bread slices and milk. Here is how I prepared this quick and easy dessert.

Ingredients: (Yield 2 servings)
3 burfi pieces
1 & 1/2 bread slices
1.5 cups milk
Nuts / Dry fruits to garnish

* Pulse the burfis and bread slices into a coarse mixture in a food processor. Do not grind them fine.
* Heat the milk in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add the burfi - bread mixture and nuts to the milk and cook for a minute.
* Turn off the stove and bring the cooked pudding to room temperature. Chill it before serving.


Friday, December 11, 2020

Meethi Sakrouri / Boondi ki Kheer

This boondi ki kheer was part of the Bihari thaali that I posted back in September. This is supposedly a traditional Mithila sweet and goes by the regional name meethi sakrouri. This kheer contains boondi, the tiny balls of chickpea flour that are deep fried which makes it a special one. Boondi can be prepared from scratch or store bought boondi can be used which makes the kheer preparation quite a simple and easy task. The milk needs to be reduced until it thickens and then cooked further after addition of boondi and sugar. The dish is finished with a generous garnishing of nuts which makes the kheer more inviting.

4 cups full-fat milk
Sugar / sweetener to taste (I added about 6 Stevia packets.)
Plain boondi as needed 
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
Coarsely chopped nuts to garnish
* Boil milk in a non stick pan or a thick bottomed pan on low heat setting. Continue to cook until the milk quantity reduces to about 3 cups.
* Add sugar and cook further until the sugar is melted completely.
* Next add boondi, cardamom and nuts to the milk. Cook for 4 -5 minutes more and turn off the stove. The boondi soften and slightly plump up by the time.  
* Serve the kheer immediately.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Suruttai Poli

(These were originally posted as part of Indian Cooking Challenge during March 2011.)

If you landed here hoping to get a poli recipe, you are surely in for a disappointment. However, hang on, hang on. Don't move away. I promise you that you are going to get introduced to another South Indian delicacy, suruttai poli. Srivalli, the creator of Indian Cooking Challenge chose suruttai poli for this month's challenge. When she mentioned that they are the rolled polis, I wasn't sure why the polis need to be rolled. 

When I went through the recipe and tried it, what do I realize? They are not polis / bobbatlu in any angle, but are kajjikayalu in a different avatar. Instead of being crescent shaped shells, they are presented as rolls. One of the Indian sweets we do like and enjoy. A delicious deep fried crisp roll with a cardamom scented sweet filling - that is suruttai poli for you in a nutshell. The process was simple and very easy to prepare (at least for me). Next time I would like to try with a coconut or nut filling.

Recipe Courtesy: Nithya's mom

Ingredient: (Yield - 10 polis)
1 cup all purpose flour / maida 
A pinch of salt
1 or 2 tbsp. powdered sugar for dusting
1/2 cup oil for deep frying
Ingredients for the stuffing:
1/2 cup roasted gram / pappulu (The one used to make the chutney.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. grated dry coconut
2 tbsp. coarsely chopped cashews
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tbsp. ghee
(And keep some paper towels handy.)

Preparation of stuffing:
1. Heat ghee in a pan. Add the cashew pieces and toast until they turn golden brown. Remove them onto a plate with a slotted spoon. To the same ghee, add the grated coconut and fry for a few seconds and turn off the stove. Let cool.
2. Powder roasted gram, sugar and cardamom together. Add the coconut - cashew mixture to it and mix well. The stuffing mixture is ready now. The stuffing can be made in advance and stored so that poli making process is a breeze.

Preparation of polis:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water gradually and make a firm dough, as you do for rotis / pooris. Cover and rest the dough for at least 30 minutes.
2. Pinch about a big marble sized dough and roll out as thin as possible, into a circle of about 5 inches diameter. Prick the disc randomly using a fork so that it won't puff up during the frying process. You don't want to deal with puffed up pooris in this recipe and pricking takes care of that. The circle should be bigger than your typical poori and repeat the same with the remaining dough. 
3. Spread the rolled discs on a wide plate and allow them to air dry for about 10 minutes. 
4. Now comes the frying part. Heat oil in a kadai or a pan. Add a pinch of dough to the oil and check whether it swims immediately to the surface. If it does, then lower the heat to medium setting and slowly drop a disc. As soon as it appears cooked and bubbles start to show up, flip using a large perforated spoon and fry for a few seconds and remove it taking care to drain the oil using that spoon. It should not be fried till it starts to change color to a brown hue like a poori. It should be just done, still maintaining the creamish hue. Also if fried longer, they would become brittle. (I placed the fried disc between two paper towels and patted it to remove the extra greasiness. This way, it was also be not hot to handle while stuffing.)
5. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on a platter and place this fried disc on it. Add about 3 tbsp. of the stuffing mixture along one edge of the disc. Start rolling from that end where the stuffing has been added and form a tight roll. 
6. Place the rolled poli on a plate with the seamed end facing downwards. Let cool. Repeat the same with the remaining discs.
7. Once cool, they become crisp. I just decorated with nuts, coconut and saffron and this is entirely optional. Store them in an air tight container.

They are very easy to prepare. The only points to remember are
1. Discs need to be fried only until done with out changing the color. Few seconds on each side, that's it. A little longer would result in brittle discs.
2. The discs need to be rolled immediately since rolling becomes impossible when they are let to cool down.
3. If you are trying to prepare a large quantity of polis then try to make them in small batches.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Roundup of 'A - Z' Karnataka Vegetarian Recipe Series

Here is a collection of 26 vegetarian recipes from the south Indian state of Karnataka that I have been posting these past few months. Starting from January, I have been posting three recipes per month in a fun A - Z series. I posted a recipe for each alphabet and so, it might have not been a true representation of the wide and vivid variety, the local cuisine boasts of. Some of the popular dishes may be missing from this series as I might have already posted them on my blog or I could not incorporate them in this series. Some recipes were chosen for being the only choice for that particular alphabet, a disadvantage while doing A - Z series. 😀Hopefully you enjoy going through / trying these recipes as much as I did. Click on the recipe names to get to the recipe links. 

A for Akki Halbai

C for Congress Kadalekayi

E for Ellu Pajji

G for Girmit

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #118 under the theme 'A - Z Karnataka Recipe Series' and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.