Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mix Dalicha Uttapa/ Adai Uttapam

Eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dine like a Pauper
This is an ancient proverb that we all have probably heard many a times, but sadly our life is so busy and fast paced that we conveniently skip this most important meal of the day. I'm no different. I have gone without having breakfast for days and weeks and though I feel guilty later for doing so, there is always some excuse every morning to not have breakfast or just grab a pack of sugar loaded cookies or cereal bars which I'm sure do more harm than good. Breakfast is exactly what it says....breaking your fast since the previous day's last meal. Which is why starting your day with a healthy breakfast is so important.

So by participating in 'JIHVA for Breakfast' this month hosted by Suma of Veggie Platter, I'm making a resolution to start the day right – By not letting me and my family skip breakfast and also eating a healthy breakfast. 'JIHVA for Ingredients' is a popular blog event started by Indira of Mahanandi and I'm very excited to participate in this event.

Keeping this resolution in mind, I made this protein rich healthy 'Adai Uttapams' or 'MIX Dalicha Uttapa' as we would call it in Marathi for breakfast last Sunday. In addition to the rice and urad dal which are the main ingredients in the traditional sada dosa/ uttapam, it also has a combination of variety of dals like chana, toor/ tuvar and yellow/ green moong dal. The addition of dried red chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and curry leaves makes the batter very flavorful by itself. But I took a step further and threw in some chopped veggies like onions, tomatoes, peas, carrots and cilantro to transform these into an even more flavorful and healthy breakfast item. Though this batter does not require any fermentation, it does require some planning to allow for soaking the rice and dals. These can be served with any chutney of your choice and sambar. I served mine with some fresh Coconut Chutney and also some traditional Maharashtrian Dried Coconut and Garlic Peanut Chutney (Khobra Ani Danyachi Lasanichi Chutney).

Ingredients -
1/2 cup rice
1/4 urad dal
1/4 cup toor/ tuvar dal
1/4 cup chana dal
1/4 cup yellow/ green moong dal
1/2 tsp methi/ fenugreek seeds
3-4 dried red chillies
8-10 curry leaves
1 small onion
1 inch ginger
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch hing/ asafotida
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

grated carrots
finely chopped onions
finely chopped tomatoes
green peas
finely chopped cilantro

Method -
1. Soak the rice, dals and fenugreek seeds in water for 6 -7 hours or overnight.
2. Grind the soaked rice and dals into a coarse paste along with cumin seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves, ginger and onion.
3. Now add salt, sugar and hing to the batter.
4. Heat the dosa pan on medium heat and rub some oil on the pan.
5. Pour a ladleful of batter on the pan and spread into a 6-7 inch diameter circle.
6. Spread the grated/ chopped veggies on the uttapam. Sprinkle few drops of oil on and around the edges of the uttapam and cook it till its golden brown.
7. Then flip the uttapam over and cook on the other side for sometime.
8. Serve hot with chutney of your choice or sambar

Ingredients -

1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger piece
3-4 sprigs cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp lime juice
salt to taste

Method -
Blend all the above ingredients with very little water into a coarse paste

Ingredients -

1/4 cup dried grated coconut
1/4 cup roasted shelled peanuts
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
1 pinch sugar

Method -
1. In a pan lightly roast the dried coconut.
2. Combine all the ingredients in your blender/ spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Broccoli Dal Vadai

Dal vadai is a popular south Indian snack which is usually made from chana dal. I have been making these regularly since both D and I love them a lot. In the past, I have made these vadais by adding different veggies like onions, grated carrots and spinach. Since I had few broccoli heads in the refrigerator, I thought of adding these to the vadai for a new spin on the traditional recipe. I love these innovative ideas of sneaking in more veggies into our diet. Although, I was a bit apprehensive of the outcome of these broccoli vadais, they tasted really good.

I recently read about 'My Legume Love Affair (MLLA)' event and thought of participating in this interesting event. This is my entry for the MLLA - Edition 21 hosted by Mirch Masala for the month of March 2010

Ingredients -
1 cup chana dal
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
2-3 one inch pieces of cinnamon
2-3 dried red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger finely chopped
2-3 tbsp rice flour
salt to taste

Method -
1. Soak chana dal in water for about 5-6 hours.
2. Grind the chana dal along with cinnamon, dried red chillies and cumin seeds into a coarse mixture.
3. Take this mixture in a bowl and add finely chopped onions, broccoli, green chillies, ginger, cilantro, fennel seeds and salt and mix well.
4. Heat oil in a pan.
5. Just before deep frying the vadais, add some rice flour to the mixture.
6. Make round flattened balls of the mixture and deep fry in hot oil till they turn crisp and golden brown.
7. Serve the vadais with coconut chutney or with ketchup.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rustic Carrot Herb Rolls

Bread baking is another art I want to learn/ master one day. This is my first attempt at baking bread from scratch. The minute I saw these gorgeous Carrot Herb Rolls on Nupur's blog, I wanted to give it a try. Nupur has got an interesting style of writing that would inspire anybody to immediately try out the dishes she has blogged about. I have heard some horror stories about bread baking, so I followed the recipe without making any major changes as I didn’t want to take any chances. I used some cilantro and Pizza masala that I bought from India during my last trip in place of the herbs used in the original recipe. Pizza masala has a combination of dried herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano. The rolls turned out to be delicious. They remind me of those rustic gourmet dinner rolls that we get in Specialty stores like Trader Joes, Panera Bread, Whole foods etc.
We had the first few rolls with cream cheese while they were still warm out of the oven. The remaining were served as Pav with the spicy Pav Bhaji I made for dinner the following night.

Ingredients -
1 cup whole wheat flour (regular chapati flour)
3 cups bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp butter melted
2 1/4 cups carrots finely shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp Pizza Masala
2 1/2 tsp salt

Method -
1. In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, bread flour, and yeast. Make a well in the center and pour in the water and melted butter. Stir until combined. Mix in the carrots, cilantro and pizza masala and stir until a soft sticky dough forms.
2. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead 5 minutes, sprinkling on a little more bread flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking to your hands and the work surface.
3. Keep the dough covered in the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and knead for 5 minutes, until salt is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and still slightly sticky, adding more flour if necessary.
5. Put the dough back in the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch down, then let rest for 10 minutes.
6. Divide the dough into pieces of desired sizes. Shape into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle rolls lightly with flour and cover with a tea towel. Proof until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
7. About 20 minutes before baking, heat oven to 400F.
8. Now brush the rolls with salt water. Bake in preheated oven until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
9. Store in an airtight container or freeze. If desired, reheat at 350F for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

I recently came across the 'Food Blog S'cool Calendar' and thought of participating in some of these events. This is my entry for Bread Baking Day (BBD) #28 - Bread Buns hosted by Tangerine's Kitchen for the month of March.