Baked Masala Vadai

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When it comes to Vadai, Masala vadai is my all time favorite. Usually I deep fry them in oil, but my baking addiction these days told me to try a baked version. These days its snowing here and on one such days I was craving for Masala Vadai. Soaked the dal and grinded. Decided to try baked version but was little worried about the texture, so instead of making the full batch took half of the batter and started baking it. Preheated the oven and took baking tray and I realized I was out of parchment paper. I thought is this sign telling me not to bake, but I greased the tray with extra oil (compare to my usual quantity) and baked. Oh man I didn’t believe the taste. My husband didn’t believe that its baked, but after seeing the second batch from the oven he accepted:-)
Its snowing today as well and my mind has started thinking about snacks. I am sure I will end up cooking some snack today but for time being this crispy baked Masala Vadai is for my lovely readers.
Check out my other Indian baked snack
Ingredients:

Onion –  1, big finely chopped

Coriander Leaves – few, chopped

Curry leaves – few

To grind:
Channa Dal – 1 cup
Rice flour  – 1 tbsp
Fennel Seeds(Sombu) – 1 tsp

Red Chillies – 2

Garlic – 3 pods, peeled and choped

Ginger – 1 tsp, peeled and chopped

Baking soda – a pinch

Sugar – a pinch

Salt – as needed

Pam Spray/ Oil – to grease (I used Oil)

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Method:

  • Wash and soak channa dal for 2 to 3 hrs. Drain the water completely and keep aside. Grind together with other ingredients listed under “To grind” with 1 – 2 tsp of water into a coarse mixture (less water helps in crispy vadai texture. Avoid using too much water)

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  • Transfer the mixture to the mixing bowl and add onions, curry leaves, coriander leaves and mix well

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  •  Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenhait. Take the baking tray and brush the oil
  • Take small portions of the mixture, and flatten them using your palm (thinner vadai yields crispy vadai)
  • Place them in the greased tray and brush each the top portion of each vadai with little oil to avoid drying out and of course for the crispy finish

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  • Bake the vadai for 11 – 15 min, till they have browned the underside (adjust time according to your oven) . Carefully flip them and bake again for another 11 – 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately. Serve with chutney/ ketchup.  I generally love to finish them without any sides
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My Notes:

  • The key for the perfect baked vadai is batter with less moisture (water) and greasing generously with oil/ spray
  • If the vadai is thick outer portion will cook fast and inner will remain uncooked, and baking for more time may lead to to rubbery vadai
  • Just like the fried ones – these are best served the minute they are made. If can’t eat the vadai immediately, switch off the oven and keep the vadai tray back in the over till you eat. Make sure you keep the vadai back in oven after 10 minutes as the oven will still be hot. Though the crispness won’t retain for hours together but for 30 – 45 minutes it works perfect.  After that I haven’t tried
  • Instead of rice flour rava can also be used

Nakd Fruit and Nut Bar- Healthy Gluten Free Bars – Product Review

Snacks are something I relish, but the quest for avoiding junks made me search for a tasty and healthy snack.

Whether a evening snack/ craving for a sweet after meals/ mid morning and evening snack for toddler/ coffee time snack for husband, I find these Nakd Bars are perfect!

I generally prefer substituting sugar with dates or banana or honey in my cooking, and these Nakd bars do exactly that, using dates instead of sugar to give the sweetness :-)

Something I liked about these bars,

  • They are prepared with 100% natural ingredients (raw, natural and unprocessed food)
  • Nakd bars are wheat, gluten and dairy free
  • Key ingredients in most of the bars are fruits and nuts
  • Contains no added sugar or syrups. Most bars are made with dates and raisins
  • Pretty good in filling a hunger gap
  • Taste delicious
  • I like the packaging too – the bright colors. The different colors actually make it easy to identify each flavor
  • Hubby carries a bar with him in his pocket to munch on, if he feels hungry in office. No more trips to the junk foods available in the vending machines!

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After opening the box I opted for the fruit flavor bars and hubby opted for berry and cocoa flavors. As we both like strawberry finally decided to go with Strawberry Crunch first.

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After opening the strawberry crunch I was doubtful how will the dates subside the citrus sourness in strawberry, but I tasted and realized dates can actually subside :-) It was perfect!

I haven’t tried Rhubarb before, but after tasting the bar loved the sweet and tangy taste and decided to buy rhubarb in future.

Gave a little portion of banana and apple crunch to my son and he asked for the second round. Fruity sweet filling treat.

Whenever my husband sees some form of chocolate flavour in kitchen he will be happy as he can finish it by himself. I am not a big fan of chocolate and have been telling no for chocolate for a long time. Recently I started eating chocolate.. Phew! coming back to Nakd bars

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Cocoa Orange and Cocoa delight are my husband’s top pick while caffe mocha was my favorite in this category.

According to him, Cocoa orange looked and smelled great and has a good blend of orange and chocolate flavors.

Cocoa Delight tastes like a fudgy chocolate brownie.

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Pecan pie had nuttier texture and definately reminded me of a pecan pie.

I haven’t tasted ginger bread before, but with the mixture of ginger, cloves and cinnamon along with other ingredients, it tasted yummy. I could smell the ginger strongly as soon as I opened the packet.

For more information about Natural Balance Food product visit Natural Protein Bar site

Loved the bar and have ordered our next pack from them:-)

Disclaimer: I am not being paid in any way to review this box of Nakd snack bars. This review is 100% my own opinion. I was not influenced in any way by the company manufacturing the bars!

Pudina (Mint) Rice

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For a lazy cook like me variety rice items are favorites, as I need not spend much time in kitchen, and it tastes delicious with a gravy/ raita. When we get a take out order in Indian restaurant, if we order gravy, they give a box of complimentary rice. Caramelized onion in that rice gives mild sweetness to the dish and should I say that is the reason I liked it:-) I tried a mint and ghee rice inspired by that rice. Should I call this rice as “Ghee Rice” or “MintMint Rice”, I am confused. Let me call it Ghee/Pudina Rice:-)

Check out my other Variety Rice,

Mint Rice

Preparation time : 10 minutes | Soaking time : 30 minutes to 1 hour | Cooking time : 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice – 1 cup, soaked and drained

Mint – 1 bunch

Onion – 1

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Water – 2 cups

Cardamom Pods – 2

Cinnamon Stick -1/8 tsp

Star Ansie – 1

Bay leaf – 1

Sugar – 1/8 tsp (optional)

Salt – as needed

Fennel Seed  powder – 1/8 tsp

Ghee – 1 tbsp

Oil – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Soak rice in warm water for 30 minutes and strain the water
  • Add oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.  Add a pinch of salt and sugar; cook till the onions are caramelized (Sugar is optional, with little more oil this can still be achieved, but I like little sugar in all dish to neutralize flavour and yes I can hear your question, its not sweet). Keep aside

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  • Add ghee to the same pan. When the ghee is hot, add whole spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add cashew, and when they turn golden brown, add ginger garlic paste and green chilli. Cook till the raw smell goes
  • Add mint and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a minute

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  • Add required salt and transfer the mixture to rice cooker and add 1:2 water and cook. Add the caramelized onions and mix well. Serve Mint Rice with gravy/raita

pudina rice

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My Notes:

  • Instead of using caramelized onion can sauté onions and use them or use fried onion
  • Instead of whole spices garam masala can also used
  • Mint can be pulsed and added

Oatmeal Banana cookie

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Now a days my picky eater (my son Vishvak) drives me crazy. Whatever I give him its a big noooo. If I give him food in plate that’s the last thing he wants to taste, but if he see anything in carpet, he gets super excited to taste it. If This is the story with food, fruits oh mannnnn. Though eating fruits directly is always best, at times I feel it’s better if he tastes something in a different form instead of rejecting it fully. Decided to give fruits in some other form, so far have succeeded with muffin and pudding (Recipe coming soon).

I was searching for the toddler friendly recipes and got inspired from Wholesomebabyfoods. Good thing about banana cookie is no fancy ingredients, its super easy and most importantly even we liked it

Checkout my other cookie recipes,

Banana Oatmeal Cookie

Ingredients:

Banana – 2, around 1 cup mushed

Oats – 1 cup, I used quick oats

Raisin – 2 tbsp

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the parchment paper on cookie try and grease it with cooking spray/bultter
  • In a mixing bowl, add oats and banana; mush the banana and combine well into a dough. Add raisin and mix well.

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  • Take a tbsp of dough and make a small round shape cookie and place them in parchment paper
  • Bake for 13 – 18 minutes (mine took 14 minutes) or until light brown on the bottom. Cool completely before eating

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My Notes:

  • Can use chocolate chip, almonds, pecans,walnut or any other nuts of your choice
  • Spices like Cinnamon, nutmeg can be added
  • I didn’t add sugar as it was sweet because of banana. Sugar can be added if you feel so
  • If you are using old fashioned oats coarsely pulse it once
  • Watch on eye after 13 minutes to avoid over cooking
  • Can mash and add bananas
  • If you don’t like raw oats flavour you can saute the oats for 3-4 minutes and add it
  • Can pulse the oats and add it

Aloo Palak

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I love green gravies because of the vibrant color. Usually I prefer either finely chopped onions/ ground onion in my gravies, but for a change this time I thinely sliced onion and added little chat masala to the Aloo palak (Am I crazy????) But believe me the gravy was super duper hit in home. Jagadish  kept asking me what did I add extra this time.  When a little change can make hubby think its a happy smiley :-)

Checkout my other recipes with Spinach and potato

Spinach Corn gravy

Keerai pappu

Oats Cracked Wheat Dhokla

Pesto

Potato Curry

Potato Tikka

Potato Fry

Potato Wedges

Microwave Potato Chips

Spinach Potato Gravy

Preparation Time : 5 min | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Spinach –  2 cups

Potato –  2, big

Onion – 1, thinely sliced

Green Chilli – 1 ( Adjust according to your spice level)

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Chat masala – 1/4 tsp

Sugar –  generous pinch

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt -as needed

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Method:

  • Pressure cook potatoes until tender (for about 2 whistles or microwave the potatoes for 10 minutes). Peel off the skin and cut into bite-sized pieces and keep aside
  • Rinse the spinach well in water. Boil water with pinch of sugar and salt. Add the spinach to the boiling water. Cook and switch off the flame, after 3-5 mins drain and quickly pour cold water over the spinach. Transfer them into a blender and make fine paste, with green chilli

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  • Add oil to the pan, when oil becomes hot add cumin seeds and it splutters. Add onion and ginger garlic paste and saute till the onions are translucent

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  • Add the cooked  potatoes and saute for a minute. Add turmeric powder, garam masala,  chat masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt; gently mix everything cook till the potatoes are well coated with masala

aloo  palak

  •  Add spinach puree and cook for 3 – 4 minutes

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My Notes:

  • Add water if you think the gravy is too thick
  • Sugar helps to retain the green color in spinach
  • To make rich Can add milk/fresh cream/coconut milk to the gravy
  • Whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom etc) can be added
  • Butter can be added for flavour
  • Tomatoes can be added while cooking onion
  • As chat masala already contains salt adjust the salt accordingly

Patishapta from Aruna Panangipally – Aharam

Patishapta - Ready to Eat - 2

Today we have a guest in Traditionally Modern Food, Aruna  Panangipally from Aharam. Aruna is not new to TMF, remember  Custard Powder Halwa that’s for her lovely blog. First time I am having a guest in my space and I am so happy its Aruna.

Aruna has a lot of knowledge about various Indian and international cusinines. The moment I knew Aruna is going to give a guest post, I knew  I would get a different dish for guest post but this Patishapta is a sweet surprise for me.

Aruna mailed me with a list of few recipes namely, two Maharstarian dishes, one Bengali dish, two Andhra dishes and one Sindhi dish and asked me to choose one. Out of 6 recipes she mentioned, I had tried and tasted only 2 recipes:-) Selfish me wanted all the recipes but I told Aruna I love sweet any recipes is ok for me.

After receiving the Patishapta recipe I was happy that she gave me a sweet I haven’t tasted before :-)

Thanks Aruna for a lipsmacking sweet. I can continue writing about Aruna but Patishapta recipe is waiting:-)

Let’s here from Aruna:-)

There are some people with whom there is an instant connect. Vidya is one such person for me. I have come to love Vidya’s style of recipes; simple, healthy and traditional. Her no-fuss cooking style suits my working woman lifestyle while her focus on keeping food healthy helps with my constant battle with the bulge. J

I am truly honoured and excited to do this guest post for Vidya. She made this fabulous Custard Powder Halwa as a guest post for me and this is my chance to reciprocate her generosity.

When I was talking to Vidya about what she would like, she mentioned that she loves sweets and left the choice up to me. I needed a sweet that befitted the sweet person that Vidya is and so I thought of Patishapta.

Patishapta is a traditional Bengali sweet made during Sankranti or (Poush Parbon as it is called in Bengal). It is very easy make and super delicious. Patishapta is essentially a pancake stuffed with a date palm jaggery-coconut-khoya mix. I used coconut palm jaggery because I had it at home. You could also use regular jaggery or just Sugar. If you want to make it creamy, just use sweetened condensed milk. As you can see, you are spoilt for choice. J

I added a bit more sweet to it by using a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk at the end.

Here is hoping you like it!

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Makes: 6 to 8

Ingredients for the Filling

  1. Fresh Grated Coconut or Desiccated Coconut – 2 Cups
  2. Grated Palm Jaggery or Sugar – 3/4 Cup
  3. Crumbled Khoya or Mava – ½ Cup

Ingredients for Pancake Batter

  1. Maida or All Purpose Flour – 2 Cups
  2. Rice Flour – 2 tbsp
  3. Rava or Semolina – ¼ cup
  4. Sugar – 3 tbsp
  5. Milk – 3 to 3.5 Cups
  6. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp

Other Ingredients

  1. Sweetened Condensed Milk – 4 tbsp
  2. Milk – 2 tbsp

Method to Make the Filling

  • Mix the grated coconut, jaggery, and mava together.

Patishapta - Filling Ingredients

  • Place them in a heavy-bottomed pan or Kadhai.

Patishapta - Mix the Ingredients

  • On low to medium heat, cook the ingredients till the jaggery melts and the mix becomes sticky.

Patishapta - Cook the Filling Ingredients

  • Turn off the heat.
  • Set aside.

Method to Make the Pancake Batter

  • Dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of milk.
  • Mix together the maida, rava, and rice flour.
  • Add the sweetened milk and mix well to form a smooth, lump-free batter.
  • Now add the rest of the milk slowly to create a batter of pourable consistency.

Patishapta - The Batter for the Pancake

Method to Make Patishapta

  • Over medium flame, heat a tava or a pan.
  • Spread a few drops of oil.

Pan with Oil

  • Pour about ½ cup of batter and let it spread by itself into a circle.
  • When the edges start to brown, turn the heat to low.

Patishapta - Pancake Cooking

  • Place about 1.5 tbsps of the filling in the centre of the pancake in the shape of a thin long tube.

Place Filling on the Pancake

  • Fold over the edges.
  • Let it Patishapta cook for a minute or so.

Patishapta - Fold Over the Pancake

  • Repeat steps 2 to 7 to make other Patishaptas.

Serving the Patishapta

  1. Just before serving the Patishapta, mix the sweetened condensed milk and regular milk together.
  2. Over low flame, heat the mix till warm.
  3. In a plate, place one Patishapta.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of warmed condensed milk over the Patishapta.
  5. Take a bite, close your eyes and savour the taste!

You can see more of my work at:

Patishapta - Ready to Eat

Cornmeal Pancake

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Pancake is hubby’s favorite weekend breakfast.  I had already Posted Eggless Pancake and Eggless Whole Wheat Strawberry pancake. Had yellow cornmeal in pantry so tried pancake with yellow corn meal and whole wheat. It is healthy and yummy breakfast for adults and kids. My toddler loved this pancake.

On a different note, TraditionallyModernFood is in Sulekha:-) I was excited when sulekha approached me to post recipes in indiapulse.Sulekha.com.

Cornmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

Yellow Cornmeal – 3/4 cup

Whole Wheat – 3/4 cup

Baking Powder – 1 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp

Sugar – 3 tbsp (I used brown sugar) Adjust sugar according to your sweetness

Salt – 1/8 tsp

Wet Ingredients:

Milk – 1 cup + 3 tbsp

Egg – 1

Vanilla – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp

Butter –  2 tbsp + 1tsp, melted

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Method:

  • In a bowl add all the dry Ingredients; mix well and Set aside
  • In a separate bowl beat the eggs well; add milk and vanilla extract, and whisk well

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  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir gently. Pour melted butter (microwaved for 15 secs) and stir once. Set batter aside for 10 minutes

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  • Heat an iron skillet or a non-stick pan on low to medium heat. Reduce heat to low and pour a ladle full of batter in the center of the pan. Do not spread the batter. Allow it to spread on its own. Add little butter around the edges. Cook the pancake on low medium heat for half a minute or until bubbles appear over the pancake

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  • When the pancake turns to a nice golden shade, flip it over and cook for half a minute and transfer to the serving plate
  • Serve warm, topped with butter/honey/Maple Syrup/Powdered Sugar/Caramel syrup/butterscotch syrup/Fruit syrup

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Notes:

  • All purpose flour can be used instead of wheat
  • Any extracts like almond, butterscotch etc. Can be used for flavour
  • Cinnamon powder can be added
  • Oil can be used instead of butter
  • Use 1 tbsp of flax seed powder/ 1 chia seed with 3 tbsp of water to replace egg. 1/2 cup of mashed banana/ 3 tbsp of Peanut Butter /1/4 cup of unsweetned Apple sauce can also be used to replace egg
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