Lunchbox ideas


Today hubby came home early from work.. We had plans of going out for a drive.. but he comes and says, “I am craving for bhajiya pav”. I had never heard of this combination ever before.. I was like, really??  Is this even a combination? How can you eat bhajiya and pav? He seemed so surprised that I had never tasted this famous street food of amchi Mumbai…

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I’ve never been a street food lover.. It was very occasionally that I indulged in a vada pav, that too was ages ago when I worked..

I do love making the chats at home. .. I make pani puri, ragda pattice, bhel, chats, pav bhaji and bhajiya…

So I decided to make bhajiya pavs for him, and he demanded some batata vadas too. . It turned so yummy and perfect. . Kids kept saying one more! Mission accomplished!

Let’s make it then

You may require
3 large potatoes, pressure cooked, cooled and peeled.

Salt to taste
3 to 4 Green chillies finely chopped
Half inch piece ginger finely chopped
5 to 6 pods of garlic finely chopped
4 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
4 to 5 curry leaves, cut into small pieces.
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida half tsp
1/4 tsp haldi
Oil 1 tsp for tempering and more for frying

For the coating
1/4 th cup besan
Enough water to make a batter.
Batter should be thinner than  dosa batter. When you dip your balls of vada and remove it from the batter it should just coat the balls lightly not thickly. The batter shouldn’t be thick.
Salt to taste
A pinch of asafoetida
1/4th tsp haldi

Let’s proceed now

1. Wash the potatoes and pessure cook them well. . 4 to 5 whistles and then simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Now, turn off the heat. Let it cool, peel them and mash them with a masher without lumps.

2. Take a pan,  add oil and once it is hot add mustard seeds, let it splutter, now add asafoetida and add finely chopped or pounded garlic, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Sauté till garlic and chillies change color. Now add mashed potatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and cook only for 2 to 3 minutes. Take out from heat, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and make small round balls from the potato filling.

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Make the coating with the items mentioned.

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Heat oil in a kadhai. Once oil is hot, rest whether it’s ready or not by dropping one drop of the batter in it. If it sizzles and comes up, then oil is ready.

Take the potato balls dip in the coating and take it out and slide in the hot oil and fry in medium heat till the coating becomes golden brown and take them out and drain excess oil and place on a tissue.

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Serve with chutney or have with pav. . You can add the small boondies that form in the oil to the pav for the extra crunch.

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It is so surprising, how we associate every dish with something in our life.. There has to be some memories attached to every dish we make.. when I got everything ready to prepare the khichdi, I went back in time.. The time when I stayed with my mama and mami.

My mami, makes the best sabudana khichdi and the way she keeps her kitchen organised and clean has always inspired me to keep my kitchen and vessels that way. She used to serve the khichdi along with curd and sugar.

  My son, loves this dish and wants me to make it very very often. He can have it for all the 3 meals of the day. Let me show you how I make these.

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Ingredients

1 sabudana or sago  I used 1 packet (500 Grams.)
2. Water for soaking
3. 3 to 4 green chillies finely chopped
4. Half inch piece ginger finely chopped
5. Lemon 1.
6. Salt to taste
7. Sugar 1 tbsp
8. Few curry leaves.
9. Jeera or cumin seeds 1 to 1 and a half tsp
10. Oil 3 to 4 tsp
11. Coriander leaves finely chopped for garnish.
12. Potatoes 2 medium
13. Peanuts 1/4th to half cup.. depending upon the liking.

Method

1. Soak the sabudana overnight or minimum 4 to 5 hours. Soak only in so much water to cover the sabudana. No need to add more water.

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2. Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes.

3. Finely chop green chillies, ginger.

4. Dry roast peanuts, remove the skin and powder in the mixer.

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5. Heat oil in a thick bottom kadhai

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6. Add Jeera

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7. Once it crackles, add chillies, ginger and curry leaves.. sauté

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8. In the meantime mix the powdered peanuts with sabudana .. It keeps them from becoming sticky.
Tip: if after 4 to 5 hours of soaking, you see water in the sabudana, drain the excess water and spread it out on a clean towel..

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9. Once the chillies are sautéed, add the potatoes, salt for the potatoes and cook till potatoes are done. (I normally cook the potatoes in the microwave for 4 minutes to save time.)

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10. Now add the sabudana mixed with powdered peanut.

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11. Add salt

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12. Add sugar

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13. Add lemon juice

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14. Mix well and cook covered on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

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15. The khichdi is ready,  serve it with curd added with sugar.

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Enjoy!!!

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Upma kozzukkattai is something I love and have always loved since I was a kid.. my memories of this dish takes me back to my pati  (grandmother)  those days when my mom had trainings at her bank or exams, pati used to make these beauties. . She would sit on the kitchen platform and make these…

Pati was a very active lady, her day centered around her music.. day and night she would sing, sing and sing.. she was so passionate about music.. I don’t remember much about her cooking, only these kozzukkattais and rasams. . But she had magic in her hands!! She would daily narrate Ramayana, the wedding of Rama and Sita, every day same story, when I eat, but I wanted the same story everyday.. and the way she would mention it, felt as if it was happening right there in front of our eyes. . Ah, those days! ! Beautiful memories!

Her kozzukkattais would be rolled into equal sized balls and the sight of it would make anyone crave for it…

My mom makes them often on my request whenever I go to meet her. Over the years I have started making it for the occasional cravings! Let me tell you how to make it.

Things you may need

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1 handful chana dal

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1 handful split urid dal

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Soak in water for 30 mins

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Other ingredients
Salt to taste
3 cups idli rava
1 and a half cups of water per cup of idli rava, that makes it 4 and a half cups water.
3 to 4 tsp oil for tempering
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split urid dal
1/2tsp chana dal
1/2tsp asafoetida
2 dry chillies , split into 2
Few curry leaves
3 to 4 green chillies finely chopped
Half inch piece ginger finely chopped
4 to 5 tbsp grated fresh coconut

Let’s proceed

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Wash the soaked dals and pulse it in a mixer. . Coarse or fine, the way you like. .

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Take a thick bottom pan, add oil, I used til oil..

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Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds, let it splutter, now add chana dal and urid dal. . Once they change color add asafoetida.

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Add the dry red chilli, and green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.. sauté for 1 minute add a pinch of salt.

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Add the measured water

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Add the required salt. Bring to a boil

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Add the measured idli rava, pulsed lentils and grated coconut. Stir,  cook it like upma. The water will be absorbed by the idli rava. And will dry up and once you will be able to make balls from it, take off heat.

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Make oval shaped kozzukkattais from the upma we made, once they have cooled enough to handle.

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Place them on the idli plate or kozzukkattai plate and steam them for 10 to 15 minutes.

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             Now carefully open the lid

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Steamed beauties are all ready to be devoured. .. have with chutneys. I made two varieties,  onion tomato and one coconut. 

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Enjoy!!

Poha is a favourite in our household. . Kids and hubby can have it any time of the day..

I am part of a lovely Facebook group, a member, Reem Khan, had suggested adding lemon juice after adding onions for sautéing, as a result the onions get lovely pinkish color. I so loved the tip that I started using it there after. I thought I should share it on my blog as well…

Here is my way of making poha..

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Poha recipe

1. poha 2 cups washed and drained in a colander.
2. 2 onions finely chopped.
3. 3 green chillies chopped, a small piece ginger finely chopped
4. a few Curry leaves
5.  Salt to taste
6. haldi 1/2 tsp
7.Lime juice 1 wedge plus more
8. Coriander leaves finely chopped for garnishing
9. Oil 4tsp
10. Mustard seeds 1 tsp
11. Jeera 1/2 tsp
12. Coriander seeds 1/4th tsp
13. 1 red chilli
14. water for sprinkling 3 to 4 tsp
15. sev optional for garnishing

Wash and drain poha and set aside for 20 to 30 mins.

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Chop all the above ingredients

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Take a pan add oil

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Once hot add mustard seeds once they crackle add Jeera and coriander seeds.

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Once they crackle add green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Sauté.

From this stage add salt required after adding each ingredient. Sauté till it is done.

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Add onions and some lime juice and salt, and haldi. sauté til color changes to pink.

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Add poha, sprinkle some water and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 3 to 5 mins. Add lime juice according to taste and garnish with coriander leaves.

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For some extra punch you may add some shredded coconut too, some sev as well.

Today we had an extended weekend off.. so didn’t want to have the same old breakfast. And since I have taken a break from idli, dosa and upma for 2 weeks. . I had to think what to prepare for brunch. I didn’t have bread too and kids were getting hungry. So thought to prepare something quick and tasty also healthy… After all the heavy snacking during Diwali wanted to have something spicy and light.

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I quickly ran through my pantry and decided to put together oats, rice flour, wheat flour and I had washed and kept some poha  (flattened rice) for making kanda poha. . So added all this and prepared a batter with some buttermilk and water. Added some chopped onions, chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves. . And tada… The batter was ready for paniaram. .

Ingredients

1. Oats                    3/4th cup
2. Rice flour          1/4th cup
3. Wheat flour       1/4th cup
4. Poha or flattened rice  a handful
5. Onion 2 small finely chopped
6. Green chilli 3 to 4 finely chopped, adjust spice according to your taste.
7. Curry leaves a few, chopped finely
8. Coriander leaves finely chopped 2 to 3 teaspoons. .
9. Salt to taste
10. Buttermilk  3 tablespoons
11. Water for grinding the batter

Methods
1. Wash a handful poha and set aside.

2. Take a mixer jar and add oats, rice flour, wheat flour, poha, salt, buttermilk and water required for grinding. Grind into a batter not too thin nor thick. Idli batter consistency will be ideal.

3. Chop onions, chilli, curry leaves and coriander leaves.

4. Take out the batter into a bowl add the chopped onions, chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves.

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5. Place the appam pan on medium heat. Once it’s hot enough add a drop of oil in all the holes and add a spoonful of the batter to it. Reduce the heat to low and cook it covered.

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6. Once it turns brownish color flip the paniarams and again cook it covered. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  If needed you can add a few more drops of oil.

7. Take out the paniarams when cooked well on both sides. You can also cook it a little longer and make it crisp..

8. These paniarams go well with molagapodi, sambar, chutney or just like that. . Makes a good tiffin snack too. . My little kids enjoyed this dish..

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Its been so long I posted anything here. Just been busy with so many things. My little one has also started going to school and I have started working as a freelance editor. Never knew things could get this busy. But, I am loving being busy.. I have tried lots of new dishes in my kitchen, but haven’t been able to update anything here. Shall try to update some soon. I recently bought the Philips Airfryer, I tried roasting peanuts and dals. And was pleasantly surprised, they had roasted beautifully. Then tried samosas, loved the crunch in it. Will post samosa recipe next.

Lets talk about sabudana vada, I have always loved it. As a kid amma used to make. But I have never attempted it on my own. An aunt in the family had an experience while frying the vadas, it burst in oil and splashed some hot oil on her. After hearing that I’ve always been little worried about frying sabudana vadas. Today I thought of making it in my Airfryer. And the result was awesome. So tasty, crunchy on the outside and soft inside.

Here is how I made it.

  • What you’ll need

1. Sabudana – soak sabudana in just enough water to cover them.
I soaked a small bowl of sabudana.

2. Green chillies – 3 green chillies finely chopped.

3. 1 potato boiled, peeled and mashed.

4. Ginger – 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped.

5. Peanut – roasted and ground, about 2-3 tsp.

6. Salt to taste

7. Lemon juice – juice of half a lemon.

8. Coriander leaves – washed and finely chopped, 3 tsp

 

  • How to proceed

1. Soak sabudana for atleast 7 to 9 hours.
2. Dry roast peanuts and powder it.
3. Boil potatoes, peel and mash it.
4. Wash and chop green chillies, ginger and coriander leaves.
5.Take a bowl, add sabudana, powdered peanut, chopped green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, mashed potatoes, salt, lemon juice and combine them all well.
6. Now, take a small ball of the mixture and shape into vadas.
7. Since I used airfryer, I just brushed the vadas with oil and airfried them at 180 degrees for about 12 to 15 mins.
8. You can also deep fry these vadas.
9. Enjoy with green chutney or curd and sugar.

 

Enjoy!!

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Being a South Indian,  Dosas and Idlis are like a daily food. We make them almost every other day. One of my friends here was feeling homesick and wanted to eat Idlis like her mom made them.  She said her mom made idlis using urad dal and idli rice. So I decided to make a few for her to cheer her up. Here is my version of the idli/dosa batter.

 

Recipe

  1. Idli rice                                                     – 3 cups
  2. Urad dal                                                    – 1 and 1/4th cup
  3. Oats                                                             – 1 cup
  4. water for soaking
  5. salt to taste

How to proceed

 

  • Soak the urad dal for 2 to 4 hrs. 2 hours is also sufficient.
  • Soak the idli rice for an hour.
  • Wash the urad dal after its soaked for the given time and set aside.
  • After they are soaked for the given time, take the grinding jar of your mixer and and grind half of the urad dal with little water. Don’t add too much water, as it will change the consistency of the batter. Just add sufficient water for grinding.
  • Take the ground urad dal out into a big vessel. The urad dal is ground well, if is smooth in texture and has fully been ground.
  • Grind the remaining urad dal, idli rice and oats. You may have to grind in 2 or 3 batches. Grind well and transfer the ground batter in the same big vessel. Stir it well and cover and set aside to ferment for a good 10 to 12 hours. Depending on the heat in your area reduce your fermenting time.

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  • Once the batter has fermented, add salt to taste and now you can prepare dosa or idli.

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  • For Idlis, grease an idli plate with til oil and pour batter to cover 3/4th portion of the idli plate.
  • If you are using a cooker to steam the idli, then no need to keep the whistle. Just add water in the cooker and place the idli stand and close the lid and steam for 10 to 15 mins on high. If you have a Idli steaming vessel, then just add water and place the idli stand and steam.  Once done, remove the idli plates from cooker/vessel and let it cool for 5 to 10 mins and with the help of a spoon remove the idlis.

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  • You can even make dosa with this batter. The dosa comes out lovely, with great color and lovely texture. Its easy to roll them. Kids would love it as you can give it to them in restaurant style, as my son loves to have.
  • The idli and dosa go well with sambar, chutney and molagapodi.

 

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Enjoy!

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