Category Archives: Pancake/Dosa/Uttapam

Tomato & Coconut Chutney

Tomato & Coconut Chutney

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tomato & Coconut Chutney

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since I have come back from Kashmir, I have been a bit of a snoozy cook partly trying to readjust to former routine and partly trying to use up ingredients in the kitchen.

Today’s chutney recipe was born out of one  such snoozy moment.

Needed an accompaniment to go with sprouted moong and carrot idli I was having for dinner and had some tomato and freshly grated coconut kicking around in the refrigerator. Le voilà!

A very good friend of mine believes that unplanned experiences turn out to be the best and most memorable ones. This recipe is a testament of that.

If you plan to try it, feel free to substitute/add/modify with whatever you have lying around.

Goes very well with idli, dosa, as a sandwich spread or even as a dip for Indian themed dinner party. Will stay good in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Ingredients

1 Cup freshly grated coconut

2 Tomato, large and ripe

15-20 Curry lreaves

1 Onion

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

3-4 Fresh chilli (red or green)

1 Tablespoon dalia dal (roasted split bengal gram)

1 Tablespoon urad dal (black gram)

1 Teaspoon mustard seed

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1/2 Cup water

1 Tablespoon peanut or sesame oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and roughly chop the onion.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the tomato.
  3. Wash and slice the chilli.
  4. Peel, wash and chop the ginger.
  5. Wash the curry leaves.
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  7. Once it is hot, lower the heat and throw in the mustard seeds.
  8. As soon as they start spluttering, add the asafoetida.
  9. Stir for about 15 seconds and add the dalia dal and urad dal.
  10. Cook for a few minutes till both the dals turn a shade darker.
  11. Next, add the curry leaves and stir for a couple of minutes till they become slightly crispy.
  12. Add the onions, chilli and ginger along with salt to taste.
  13. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Uncover and add the grated coconut.
  15. Stir around a bit and cook for about 5 minutes till the coconut turns a bit toasty. You will also get a nice coconut-y aroma.
  16. Add the tomatoes and water.
  17. Mix well, cover and cook for about 8 minutes.
  18. Take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool down completely.
  19. Once cool, put in a blender or a food processor and blend till you get smooth consistency.

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Ragi & Courgette Dosa

Finger Millet & Courgette Pancake

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ragi & Courgette Dosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

don’t judge these dosas by their looks; they are uber delicious and uber healthy

Ragi (finger millet) by its very nature is deep red in colour so whatever you make from it turns out dark.

Unlike most traditional dosas, the batter for these doesn’t need to be fermented. You can make it ahead of time if you like (this is what I did) but not absolutely necessary.

My recipe includes finely grated courgette to boost the nutritional value. Having tried both with and without extra vegetable, I can honestly say that there isn’t much difference in terms of taste so it is not like courgette is coming in the way of enjoyment. Addition of courgette and onion means you are getting two of your five-a-day without much effort.

A couple of points about making and timing. These dosas require a bit of time, patience and a gentle hand. Even if you pour a thick layer of batter, by the time they cook they become crêpe-like slender. Cooking time will depend on the type of pan you are using (non-stick, cast iron, seasoned, unseasoned). I made mine in a non-stick pan and noticed that cooking time reduces as you go along.

The quantity given below turned out 3 dosas.

Enjoy with some South Indian style chutney.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup ragi flour

2 Tablespoons quick cooking/instant oats

1 Large onion

1 Courgette

3-4 Fresh green chilli

Fresh ginger the size of your thumb

10-15 Fresh curry leaves

250 Grams yoghurt (preferably tangy/sour)

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  2. Wash and finely grate the courgette.
  3. Wash the curry leaves.
  4. Wash and finely slice the chilli.
  5. Peel, wash and finely grate the ginger.
  6. Take a large mixing bowl and add the ragi flour, quick cooking oats, finely chopped onion, curry leaves, grated courgette, sliced chilli, grated ginger, yoghurt and salt to taste.
  7. Mix well and add about 1/2 cup of water.
  8. Once again, mix well and check for consistency. Yoghurt, courgette and onion should release sufficient moisture of their own but if you feel the need, add a bit more water gradually. You should end up with a thickish batter, not a thin one.
  9. Take a frying pan with a lid and heat it.
  10. Once the surface of the pan is hot, lower the heat and pour a couple of ladlefuls of batter.
  11. Spread it across the surface of the pan.
  12. Now add drops of oil all the way round the edge of the dosa.
  13. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
  14. Uncover and loosen the edges with a palette knife (or an equivalent). Don’t be in a rush to flip over. Only if the dosa comes off the edges easily should you turn it over.
  15. Cook the other side for 20 to 25 minutes.
  16. Once again flip over so that the original side is face up. Fold in half or quarter and remove to a plate.
  17. Do the same with the remaining batter. The next couple of dosas should take less time but check with a palette knife before turning over.

Note:

  1. In my non-stick, unseasoned pan, the first dosa took a long time to cook. Depending on the type of pan you are using, you may wish to check whether the under side is done after 10 to 15 minutes. The time I have given is indicative.

Coconut Chutney, The South Indian Way

South Indian Style Coconut Chutney

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Coconut Chutney, The South Indian Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a really quick and simple recipe for South Indian style coconut chutney which will go very well with idlis, dosas, uttapams and upma.

For those who may be shying away from coconut thinking that it is fattening, here’s some good news.

coconut is good for health

Raw coconut contains a type of dietary fibre called medium-chain triglycerides which can lead to weight loss. It is also rich in other dietary fibres and contains a variety of fats which help boost our immune system.  Several types of minerals are also to be found in raw coconut which helps us maintain good health.

This chutney will stay good in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

I had this with some pumpkin and moong bean sprout idlis. Delicious :-).

Ingredients

1 Cup fresh, shredded, coconut

3-4 Green chilli

Fresh ginger the size of your thumb

1/2 Cup fresh curry leaves

2 Tablespoons dalia dal (roasted split bengal gram)

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

2-3 Dry red chilli

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1 Tablespoon peanut or sesame oil

15-20 fresh curry leaves

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Dry roast the dali dal on a very slow flame for about 10 minutes. You may need to stir frequently. Set aside to cool.
  2. Wash the half cup of curry leaves. Dry them on a kitchen towel and set aside.
  3. Wash and chop the green chillies.
  4. Peel, wash and chop the ginger.
  5. In a blender or a food processor jar, add the roasted dalia dal, shredded coconut, green chilli, ginger, curry leaves and salt to taste.
  6. Add about half a cup of water and blend till you get a fine paste like consistency.
  7. Transfer to a bowl.
  8. Wash and dry the 15-20 curry leaves.
  9. Break the dry red chilli into 2 to 3 pieces.
  10. Heat the oil and when hot, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds.
  11. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the asafoetida, broken dry chilli and curry leaves.
  12. Stir for about 30 seconds and add this to the coconut chutney.
  13. Mix well and put the chutney in a bowl with airtight lid.

Note:

  1. You may need to ad more water, please adjust quantity accordingly.

Sweet Potato, Courgette & Green Pea Rösti/Latke/Potato Pancake

Sweet Potato, Courgette & Green Pea Rösti/Latke/Potato Pancake

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sweet Potato, Courgette & Green Pea Rosti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many different variations of potato pancake all over the world that it can get a bit confusing differentiating between them.

In some countries, you add flour while in others you don’t. Some cuisines add eggs, others don’t. Some add onion and cheese, others don’t. You get the picture…

Traditional Swiss rösti recipe doesn’t call for eggs and flour whereas the Jewish latke does. My version includes eggs and instant oats (instead of flour) so does this mean that I have made a latke or a rösti or neither (because of the oats)? See what I mean about the confusion?!

Today’s recipe is a union of two separate ones that I came across on the internet.

The first was fresh pea, courgette and parmesan rosti by Ainsley Harriott on the BBC food website. While I found it interesting, I wanted to include sweet potato as well. Ainsley’s recipe includes eggs and I wasn’t sure whether a rösti of sweet potato and eggs would work so researched a bit more and came across Sweet Potato Rösti (hash browns) by Julia Mueller of The Roasted Root. Julia’s recipe is a frills-free, elegant one of sweet potato and eggs.

So I decided to combine the two with a couple of my kooky modifications. Firstly, I substituted rice flour (from Ainsley’s recipe) with instant oats. And secondly, I didn’t squeeze out excess moisture from grated courgette and sweet potato nor did I blanch the green pea as that would have meant stripping the vegetables of vital nutrients.

the end result is the most delicious and moreish rösti/latke/potato pancake

Ingredients

1 Large courgette

1 Large sweet potato

1 Cup green pea

1 Large onion

10-12 Basil leaves

1-2 Tablespoon pine nuts

1-2 Tablespoons grated parmesan

2 Eggs

3-4 Tablespoons instant oats

Salt to taste

1 Teaspoon olive oil

Method

  1. First work on the pine nuts. Dry roast them in a frying pan till they turn a couple of shades darker and release a lovely nutty aroma. Set aside.
  2. Next, work on the vegetables. Roughly crush the green pea in a food processor.
  3. Peel, wash and coarsely grate the sweet potato.
  4. Wash and grate the courgette.
  5. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  6. Wash and shred the basil leaves.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine the grated sweet potato, courgette, crushed green pea, chopped onion, shredded basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, parmesan and salt to taste.
  8. Keep this mixture aside for a couple of hours. This will allow the oats to absorb excess moisture from the sweet potato and courgette.
  9. When you are ready to cook, gently beat the two eggs and fold them into the vegetable mixture.
  10. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  11. Add the batter, one spoonful at a time, leaving space in between. Don’t worry if it is a bit watery of runny, it will firm up thanks to the eggs.
  12. Gently pat down the rösti with the back of the spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  13. Flip over and cook the other side for 10 minutes.
  14. Serve hot.

Finger Millet Pancake

Rice-free Ragi Grain Uttapam

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ragi Grain Uttapam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a long time, my knowledge and appreciation of South Indian cuisine was confined to non-vegetarian fare like Mangalorean seafood gassi or Chettinad chicken or Kerala beef fry.

All that changed when I embarked on my weight loss journey and reassessed my approach to food, ingredients and cooking.

I am not saying that non-vegetarian food is bad or leads to obesity. On the contrary, fish and lean meat are very good for us. In my books, no food category or diet is bad; conversely, all food is good provided it is cooked or consumed in a healthy way and eaten in moderation.

As part of my new South Indian food discovery, at home I have made idli, dosa, paniyaram and idiyappam. So today’s recipe of uttapam is first for me and for my kooky readers.

The best way to describe uttapam is to call it a pancake with toppings or an Indian pizza without cheese (although nowadays you do get cheese uttapam).

Finger Millet PancakeThe batter is the same as that for dosa but while dosa tends to be thin and crisp (although not always), uttapam is thicker and spongier.

Traditionally, the batter is made of black gram (urad dal) and rice. In my kooky (aka, healthy) version, I have done away with rice completely. Again, I have nothing against rice but, as far as possible, I try to find a substitute and, fortunately, this recipe works perfectly well without rice.

The main ingredient in the batter is whole finger millet (also known as ragi or nachni) with a bit of black gram and some instant oats. I also added grated carrots in the batter to up the nutritional content (cooked carrots are healthier than raw)

The topping includes onion, tomato, green pepper and fresh coriander. So two uttapams will provide you with your 5-a-day.

yummy and satisfying is how I would describe these pancakes

This recipe does call for some advance planning. For example, if you plan to have this for dinner, plan as follows:

Night 1: soak finger millet and black gram

Morning 2: grind the millet and gram and leave to ferment

Now at this stage, depending on how warm the weather is where you are, the batter may ferment by Evening 2. But if it is cooler, you may have to let the batter sit for longer period (so that it can ferment) in order to cook uttapams on Day 3.

The actual cooking procedure is straightforward.

Goes well with coconut chutney and/or sambar.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup ragi grains

2 Tablespoons black gram (urad dal)

1 Teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 Large carrot

1 Large onion

2 Tomatoes

1 Green pepper

1/2 Cup fresh coriander

2 Green chillies

10-12 Curry leaves (optional)

2 Tablespoons instant oats

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and soak the finger millet, bengal gram and fenugreek seeds for 10 hours.
  2. Grind them in a food processor till smooth. Some of the finger millet grains may remain whole, that is okay. While grinding, add water judiciously. You want the batter to be of pouring consistency.
  3. Now leave the batter to ferment in a warm place. Make sure that the batter is sitting in a large pot (so that it has room to rise).
  4. Check the batter after 12 hours. If not fermented, leave it for 12 more hours.
  5. Once the batter is fermented (it will have risen and bubbles may also form on the surface), you are ready to make the uttapams.
  6. Wash and finely grate the carrots.
  7. Wash and chop the curry leaves (if using).
  8. Add the grated carrots, chopped curry leaves and instant oats to the batter along with a pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside for about 30 minutes while you prepare the vegetables. This will give the oats some time to get soaked.
  9. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  10. Wash and finely dice the tomato.
  11. Wash and chop the coriander leaves.
  12. Wash, de-core, de-seed and finely chop the green pepper.
  13. Wash and finely slice the green chilli.
  14. Now divide the batter into two (I find it easier to separate them in two bowls).
  15. Put the chopped onion, tomato, green pepper, coriander and chilli in a mixing bowl.
  16. Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
  17. Divide this vegetable topping into two separate bowls as well.
  18. When you are ready to cook the uttapam, take a non-stick frying pan and put it on high heat.
  19. Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat, take one portion of the batter and spread it in the pan in a circular motion. Don’t pat it too thin.
  20. Spread one portion of the vegetable toppings and drizzle a little bit of oil around the uttapam,
  21. Cover and let the uttapam cook for about 10 minutes.
  22. Uncover and see if you can loosen the bottom of the uttapam with a spatula. If yes, flip it over. If no, let it cook for a couple of minutes longer before flipping over.
  23. Once you have flipped the uttapam, let the underside cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  24. Flip over one more time so now, again, you will have the topping side up.
  25. Remove to a serving plate and repeat with the second portion of the batter and topping.
  26. Enjoy hot.

Note:

  1. Fenugreek seeds are added to help with the fermentation process.

Cauliflower & Carrot Pancake

Cauliflower & Carrot Pancake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be perfectly honest, I was in two minds as to whether to post this recipe. I mean, it is not the prettiest looking pancake on the block, is it?! But then I reckoned that since my blog readers don’t judge a book by its cover, they may be interested in it ;-).

Maybe the fact that this is a “rescue” recipe accounts (a wee bit?) for its appearance. By rescue I mean that I had started off with one goal but circumstances led me down another path!

My original idea was to let dough made of wheat flour ferment for 24 hours and use this as a base for a savoury pancake. After all, fermented food is good for you. Unfortunately – given the current cool climate – the fermentation process didn’t happen as I had planned. Or it may have after a couple of days but I didn’t have the patience.

this is where the “rescue” part of the recipe enters the picture

I added some yoghurt and let the batter sit for 4-5 hours to get that right level of piquancy.

Fortunately, the end result was surprisingly delicious. A lesson in not to judge a book by its cover!

The following makes 2 pancakes.

Ingredients

3/4 Cup wheat flour

2 Tablespoons ragi flour

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

Head of half a cauliflower (along with stem and leaves if fresh)

Two carrots

250 Grams plain yoghurt

2 Onions

2-3 Green chillies

One tablespoon minced ginger

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

One tablespoon oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to make the dough. For this, take the wheat flour, add water and make a soft dough. To check if it is soft enough, press your fingers on it. If you see deep depressions, you know it is the right softness.
  2. Cover and place it in a warm, dark place for 24 hours.
  3. After this time, if the dough is fermented, it should rise and you will see it break apart a bit.
  4. Now, we need to prep the batter.
  5. Finely grate the carrots.
  6. Put the cauliflower (along with stem and leaves, if using) in a food process and mince finely.
  7. Finely chop the onions.
  8. Finely chop the green chillies.
  9. Whisk the yoghurt and add some water to it. Now add this yoghurt-water mixture to the dough and make a paste. You may need to use your hand for this if it doesn’t mix well with a spoon.
  10. Make sure the batter is a bit runny.
  11. Now – to the batter- add the cauliflower, carrots, onions, chillies, ginger, ragi flour, oats and salt to taste.
  12. Give it a good stir and let it sit for 4-5 hours.
  13. When you are ready to cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick frying pan (with a lid).
  14. Once the pan is hot, pour a cup full of batter in the centre of the pan. You will notice that the batter spreads around the pan by itself. Drizzle a bit of oil around the edges.
  15. Lower the flame and cover with the lid. Let it cook for 20 minutes.
  16. After the given time, uncover and loosen the pancake with a spatula. If it comes off the base easily, you know that the under side is done. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  17. Once cooked, flip over and cook the other side (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes.
  18. Remove to a plate and do the same with the remaining batter.

Note:

  1. Since the batter is a bit runny, the pancake will turn out thin (more like a crepe as you can see below).
  2. The pancake is very delicate so flip over very carefully.
  3. You can substitute carrots with another vegetable like grated cabbage, courgette or horseradish.
  4. You can use broccoli instead of cauliflower.
  5. If the dough ferments well, you can omit the yoghurt.

Cooking Cauliflower and Carrot Pancake