Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cornflakes Chakli/Murukku

A crispy and tasty treat for weight watchers, these Chaklis are crunchy and perfect tea-time Indian snack. You can munch these chaklis guilt-free since they are baked, oil-free and healthy.

I woke up this morning with that irritable state of mind I usually feel whenever I miss my job. I accept that I really miss those busy mornings I used to wake up to; eager to meet new people, running all over the house searching for matching earrings and choosing the lip-stick that goes with the color of the eyeliner or the shoe that will match the belt. It's true that, at times, I miss being appreciated and recognized for all the hard work with a tinge of regret for leaving that job and yet, I can't stand the idea of leaving my little one and going off to work.

So, to get my sanity back and to feel better about myself, I came down to my kitchen. It is my place of comfort since I forget about everything else when I cook. When my mind thinks of modifying a recipe to it's healthiest version, the challenge keeps me away from all the negative thoughts and every time something good comes out of that. This is one of those modified recipes that helped me stay away from those thoughts for a while and made my day.

I had seen similar recipe in the Special K video where Vikas Khanna sir makes those crispy Chaklis using Special K cornflakes. I had the original Kellogs Cornflakes at home and thought of giving it a try though modifying the original recipe a little bit to my needs. So, here is the oil-free, guilt-free and perfect healthy and crunchy all time favorite Chaklis.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  52.2 Calories
Fat 0.4 %
Carbohydrates 10.7 %
Dietary Fiber 0.3 %
Sodium 32 mg
Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin C 1.3 %
Calcium  2.7 %
Iron  5.7 %
Protein 1.5 Grams
Sugar 1.3 Grams

Cornflakes 2 cups
Rice flour 1 cup
Yogurt 1 &1/4 cups
Baking soda a pinch
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Carom seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1/ teaspoon
Sesame seeds 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grind the cornflakes to a coarse powder. Mix together Ground powder, Rice flour, Cumin seeds, Carom seeds, Salt, Sesame seeds, Baking soda and Chilli powder.

Add yogurt to the dry ingredients and form a dough. If the mixture seems too dry, add a tablespoon of water. Knead the dough for a minute or two. Leave the dough covered for 10 minutes.
Oil the chakli maker, take a portion of the dough and place it inside the chakli maker. Tighten the lid and move in circles to make chaklis in spiral shape.

Line a baking tray with Aluminium foil and dust a little flour on it. Arrange the spirals on the Baking tray. Bake for at-least 25 minutes at 180 degrees and flip the chaklis half way.
Let them cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

* Do not knead the dough too much. If the dough has enough moisture, the spirals will flow freely.
* You can replace the chilli powder with green chilli paste + ginger garlic paste.
* Do not bake them for more than 30 minutes, they will turn rock hard. At most, you can bake them for 27 minutes, that will give perfectly crunchy chaklis.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ginger Tambli/Tambuli ~~Recipes from South Canara

A tasty rice accompaniment which can be prepared in minutes, Ginger tambli is very refreshing and healthy. This ginger buttermilk recipe is simple and is an easy dish mainly prepared in coastal regions of Karnataka.

This post is a part of the Culinary Hoppers Blog hop post. The theme was South Canara cuisine. Tambli or Tambuli is also prepared with many ingredients apart from Ginger like Cumin seeds, Pomegranate buds, Guava buds, Spinach leaves, Onion, etc.. In my native, Tambli is usually prepared with Brahmi leaves, Doddapatre (Ajwain leaves/Cuban oregano) and other herbs that are grown in backyard. They also use peels of some vegetables. There are many variations to tambuli but this recipe is the one of those prepared in South Canara region.

Usually, Green chillies are ground with coconut and ginger for Ginger tambli but I have used peppercorns since green chillies consumed raw is not very good for health. You can replace peppercorns with green chillies or red chillies but make sure to fry them with a little oil before grinding. Also, in some versions, coconut, chillies and ginger are fried before grinding but I am not familiar with that recipe. This recipe is quite authentic and traditional but you can modify it as per your choice.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  38.8 Calories
Fat 2.9 %
Carbohydrates 2.5 %
Dietary Fiber 0.7 %
Sodium 27.4 mg
Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin C 0.9 %
Calcium  3 %
Iron  1.2 %
Protein 1.1 Grams
Sugar 1.7 Grams

Fresh coconut grated 1/2 cup
Ginger chopped  4-5 pieces
Green chillies or Pepper corns (Optional) few
Buttermilk (Undiluted) 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water 1 cup

To Temper:
Coconut oil 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves 6 leaves
Red chillies 2

Grind together Peppercorns/Green chillies, Ginger and grated coconut to a smooth paste. If you are using Green chillies, fry in oil for a minute before grinding.
Whisk buttermilk till it looks smooth. 

Mix, buttermilk, ground paste and water. Add salt and mix well. Temper with the ingredients under "To Temper" table. Serve with hot rice.

Wheat Haalbai/Manni ~~Recipes from South Canara

Soft, mildly sweet, irresistible and light, this traditional dessert of south Karnataka just melts in your mouth making you drool and crave for another bite!

Haalbai is usually made on the day of Nagara Panchami festival in Udupi, Karnataka. We also call it as Manni in north Karnataka and is prepared from whole grain wheat, Rice and Ragi. My mum usually makes manni with fresh Ragi grains and it tastes amazing.

This post is a part of the Culinary Hoppers Blog hop post. The theme was South Canara cuisine.When my friends planned for Blog hop with dishes from South Karnataka, the first dish that came to my mind was this. My mum made it so many times when I was in her place postpartum. They say that the jaggery and whole grains combined keeps up milk production.

Haalbai is usually made with Rice and coconut but I love the taste of wheat Haalbai better. There are 2 versions where you use coconut or you don't. I have made both but I will post the steps of the one with coconut. I had to make it twice since the Haalbai I made for the first time was finished as soon as I clicked pics. My dad loves Haalbai so, I made it again when he visited.

I loved the taste of Haabai when coconut is added but liked the texture of it without coconut. I have used jaggery that I get from my hometown, it is called Joni bella. It is a semi liquid jaggery that is molasses. You can just use the regular jaggery and add it grated or powdered. Also, I have reduced the amount of jaggery used but if you have sweet tooth, you can increase the quantity. Anyway, here is the recipe for a perfect Wheat Haalbai, which is healthy and delicious.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  43.1 Calories
Fat 2.2 %
Carbohydrates 2.6 %
Dietary Fiber 0.6 %
Sodium 3.9 mg
Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin C 0.3 %
Calcium  7.1 %
Iron  18.4 %
Protein 0.4 Grams
Sugar 0.3 Grams

Wheat grains/Wheat berry 1 cup
Coconut grated (Optional) 1 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Ghee 1 teaspoon
Cardamom powder 1 teaspoon

Grease a plate with ghee and keep aside. Soak Wheat grains for 24 hours or at least 12 hours. Grate the coconut and make sure you use fresh coconut.
Grind together Wheat and coconut into a smooth paste.

Sieve the ground paste using a mesh or a muslin cloth. You can add little water and repeat the process till all the milk is extracted. This step is optional yet it makes the halwa more smooth and easy to handle.
Mix the milk and jaggery and start the flame under low. Keep stirring every minute. Add cardamom powder.

Once the mixture reached a pasty state, add just a teaspoon of ghee and mix well. Adding Ghee is also optional but gives a glossy look and adds taste.
Make sure to keep stirring, it gets a little difficult once the mixture starts leaving the bottom of pan. It takes about half an hour to 45 minutes. To know when it is time to remove from pan, take a little of halwa and cool it in the spoon. If it is not sticky when you try to hold it with your fingers, it's done.
Remove from heat and spread the mixture on the greased plate. Cut to your desired shape and serve cooled.

* It tastes best when served the next day of preparation. So, you can prepare the previous day if you are expecting guests.
* Adding ghee is optional but it makes the mixture easy to handle.
* Make sure to keep the mixture stirring and do not leave the mixture on flame without stirring.

Chayote squash Majjige Huli/ Kodakyana ~~Recipes from South Canara

Mild, simple yet delicious, Majjige huli or Kodakyana is authentic and one of the traditional dishes of Karnataka. This yogurt curry is a part of almost all festival meals of us Kannadigas.

This post is a part of the Culinary Hoppers Blog hop post. The theme was South Canara cuisine. There are two variations to Majjige huli and it is also called as Kodakyana in Mangalore and Udupi. I got this recipe from my mum who learnt it from her mom. My grandmother is from Mangalore and is the best cook I have ever known. Though she is over 80, she still loves to cook and teach us her recipes. Majjige huli is prepared in Bangalore and Mysore a little differently than in Mangalore and Udupi.

Majjige huli and/or Kodakyana can be prepared with Winter melon/Ash gourd, Cucumber, Tindora, Snake gourd, Okra, Chayote squash and even potatoes. I planned on preparing Kodakyana especially with Chayote squash since I wanted to post this recipe for a blog hop. Chayote squash goes well with this yogurt curry and this curry tastes best when served with hot steamed white rice.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  79 Calories
Fat 5.2 %
Carbohydrates 6.3 %
Dietary Fiber 2 %
Sodium 31.6 mg
Vitamin A 0.7 %
Vitamin C 4.8 %
Calcium  8 %
Iron  2.3 %
Protein 2.8 Grams
Sugar 3.7 Grams

Chayote squash (chopped) 2 small
Salt to taste
Water 1 cup
Yogurt 2 cups

To Grind:
Fresh grated coconut 1 cup
Chana daal (Soaked for 20 mins) 1 tablespoon
Ginger 2-3 small pieces
Cumin seeds 2 teaspoons
Green chillies 3
Coriander leaves a handful

To Temper
Coconut oil 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Red chillies 2
Curry leaves 4-5 leaves
Asafoetida/Hing a pinch

Soak Chana dal for atleast 20 minutes. Chop the squash, add little water and cook till they turn soft and well cooked.
Grind everything under "To Grind" table to a coarse paste. Make sure the ground paste is not too fine and smooth.

Mix the cooked squash and it's cooked water with the ground paste and bring it to boil. Add salt and mix. Simmer the flame. Add yogurt and stir well. Keep the flame low and wait for it to boil. Once it starts to boil, switch off the flame.
Heat oil and add ingredients under "To Temper" in the order mentioned. Add it to the boiled mixture and mix. Serve hot with piping hot rice.

* Make sure to simmer the flame before adding yogurt to the mixture. If the flame is high, the curry will curdle.
* Also, whisk the yogurt before adding it to the mixture to get the smooth texture.
* There are two versions to Kodakyana where the other version is bland. You can try it by just skipping everything else under "To grind"except coconut.

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